Tulane PRC core project hosts road race, encourages families to get movin'

Dionne Hudson was all smiles after the Movin’ for LIFE 9th Ward 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 9.

As she held her son, she looked around at three generations of family members and friends and just couldn’t contain her excitement. Just a month ago, she had no idea she’d finish a 5K. Hudson said her mother and children were riding around looking for an event, and they stumbled across an advertisement for the Movin’ for LIFE Health Fair.

“We had so much fun at the health fair that I said that we’re going to do the run,” Hudson said. “I called home and told my husband to take off because we’re doing this. I got everybody involved. It’s great because it’s family-oriented. It just feels so good to be active and to get everybody together. It was really cool.”

Now, three generations including her mother and mother-in-law and even some friends from her hair salon are on the road to an active lifestyle.

More than 200 people participated in the event designed to promote healthy lifestyles in the upper and lower 9th Ward. More than half were participating in a 5K for the first time.

Onika Jervis of GirlTrek, a group that’s goal is to get black women and girls fit and healthy to improve quality of life, said the 5K is a great way to help build community involvement.

“We just wanted to come out and support the neighborhood and inspire health and healing,” Jervis said. “We love the fact that so many groups are working to get women healthy. We’re talking about food, exercise, mental health and today is a big part of that.”

GirlTrek had a large group including women from across the greater New Orleans area. The group’s cheering at the finish line was a highlight for many walkers, who smiled and held up their hands as they crossed the finish line.

It’s that kind of community participation that the Tulane Prevention Research Center hopes to create with the Movin’ for LIFE program – which stands for “Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy.” The program uses a variety of strategies to encourage active and healthy lifestyles, such as cooking classes, community walks, dance classes, coalition meetings, and promotion of existing resources in the 9th Ward. Saturday’s event showed off more than a dozen of the group’s partners.

Fats Domino also was honored with the Movin’ for LIFE Spirit of Community Award.

“We’re really thankful for them recognizing our father in this manner,” said Andrea Brimmer, Fats Domino’s daughter. “It’s awesome recognition. We just want them to continue their mission of promoting healthy living. The weather’s perfect, which just makes today even more awesome.”

By Joseph Halm, Nola.com/The Times-Picayune
(Photos by Stewart Johnson, On-Location Photography)

To read the full story on Nola.com, click here

Topics:   walking , running , physical activity , obesity , community health

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