(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- The Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department is teaming up with the Health Foundation of South Florida (HFSF) to encourage Miami-Dade County senior citizens (age 55 and older) to start walking for their health by offering the new FREE evidence based walking program--Walk With Ease at 13 Miami-Dade Parks locations. Seniors are invited to help kick-off the first Walk With Ease walking session on April 21, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to register and learn more about this program.
"Walking is one of the easiest, healthiest activities that most people can do, and what better place to do it that in one of the County's beautiful parks," said Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys.
Through HFSF's five-year $7.5 million initiative, the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative, the organization is helping older adults to age strong. Its latest endeavor--Walk With Ease--created by the Arthritis Foundation, is an evidence-based walking program for those over age 55 with or without arthritis, that touts the benefits of increased physical activity. Participants will meet with a trained leader three times a week during this six-week session and will also receive a guidebook with chapters on health education, stretching and strengthening exercises, and motivational strategies. At the completion of their session, walkers will receive a Walk With Ease T-shirt.
"If you can be on your feet for ten minutes, you can have success with this program," said HFSF President & CEO Steven E. Marcus, Ed.D. "This self-guided program, which can help to reduce arthritis pain while increasing a participant's balance and strength, reflects the type of activities promoted through Health Foundation of South Florida's Healthy Eating Active Communities focus area."
The Walk With Ease program will be offered at these Miami-Dade County parks:
- Deerwood Bonita Lakes Park,14445 SW 122 Ave., Miami; Contact: Daryl Miller, 305-234-1660
- West Perrine Park, 10301 SW 170 Avenue, Miami; Contact: Julie Banks. 305-235-2053
- Goulds Park, 11350 SW 216 St., Miami; Contact: Victor Jenkins, 305-255-2399
- South Dade Park, 28151 SW 164 Avenue, Miami; Contact: Lasonja Davis-Miller, 305-247-9453
- Continental Park, 10000 SW 82 Ave., Miami; Contact: Joe Fernandez, 305-274-9666
- Tropical Estates Park, 10201 SW 48 St., Miami; Contact: Denise Tezanos, 305-226-5782
- Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW 152 Ave., Miami; Contact: Mercy Morgan, 305-380-9106
- North Trail Park, 780 NW 127 Ave., Miami; Contact: Francisco Yanes, 305-207-2420
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park (MLK), 6160 NW 32 Ct., Miami; Contact: Marvin Burroughs, 305-633-2044
- Arcola Lakes Park, 1301 NW 83 St., Miami; Contact: Trenise Henderson/Marvin Burroughs, 305-836-5095
- Gwen Cherry Park (Y.E.T.), 7090 NW 22 Ave., Miami; Contact: Bobby Johnson, 305-694-4889
- Highland Oaks Park, 20300 NE 24 Ave., Miami; Contact: Lerida Delgado, 305- 932-2164
- Country Village Park, 6550 NW 188 Terr., Miami; Contact: Linda Baker, 305-622-2594
About Health Foundation of South Florida (HFSF):
HFSF is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving health in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. By advancing health solutions, the Foundation makes a measurable and sustainable impact in ensuring access to affordable, quality health services for all residents, especially the underserved. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $92.7 million in grants and program support. For more information, please call 305.374.7200 or see their website, www.hfsf.org. For information on the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative visit: Health Foundation of South Florida. For information on the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative visit Healthy Aging.
About the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and more than 12,825 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade Parks call 3-1-1 or visit Miami-Dade Parks.