Thursday, June 30, 2011

The New York Junior Tennis League Free Community Tennis Program

The New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) will be hosting a free community tennis program for children ages 6 through 18. The NYJTL will provide free tennis lessons Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 12 noon. The program will run from July 5th until August 26th at the John F. Kennedy High School campus (99 Terrace View Avenue). Registration will happen on-site during the hours of the program. For more information you can call York Chu at (347) 417- 8154 or you can send an e-mail at [email protected]

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BeFitNYC

BeFitNYC is opening up the doors of New York City Recreation Centers every first Monday of the month for free. Classes, recreation facilities and programs will be free of charge.  Make sure to find the location nearest you to take advantage of this opportunity.

Below is a list of all the recreation centers in the 33rd Senate District:

Crotona Park Community Center
1700 Fulton Avenue

Haffen Park Field House
Ely & Hammersly avenues

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center
3101 Kingsbridge Terrace

St. James Recreation Center
2530 Jerome Avenue
*wheelchair accessible

West Bronx CYO
1527 Jessup Avenue
*wheelchair accessible

Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center
3225 Reservoir Oval East
*wheelchair accessible

Monday, June 20, 2011

Riverdale Review: Pols launch Bronx health initiative


By BRENDAN McHUGH

Bronx neighborhoods have some of the worst obesity rates in the city, and two lawmakers are sick of it.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. joined State Senator Gustavo Rivera in launching the Bronx CAN Health Initiative at the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center last weekend in hopes of shedding the borough of its fatty reputation.

The CAN Initiative stands for changing attitudes now, and that’s what Rivera hopes to do not only within his 33rd state Senate district, but also to himself. The initiative brings together individuals, health providers, community centers, schools, and civic-minded groups of all kinds to promote the types of behaviors that lead to healthy lifestyles. The goal of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative is to have all the members of our community—young and old alike—build healthier lives, free of ailments like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.

And it’s not just for Rivera’s constituents. The senator, at 299 lbs., plans to lose 20 lbs. during the 20-week initiative and 40 lbs. over the next 40 weeks.

“This is the before,” Rivera said, pointing to himself. “This is the after,” he said, pointing to the 209 lbs.—in business attire—Diaz.

Community members signed up for the Bronx CAN Health Challenge set their own personal health goals with the assistance of health care providers that were at Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center to provide support. Goals included losing weight, exercising a certain amount of times a week, quitting smoking, and bringing down cholesterol levels.

Rivera wants to meet his goal by controlling portion size rather than cutting out certain foods completely.
“I’m sick and tired of being last in everything that’s good and first in everything that’s bad,” said Diaz, saying the biggest hurdle stems from family traditions of having big meals and overeating.
Bronxites can continue to sign up for the Bronx CAN Health Challenge online at www.bronxcan.com or by visiting Rivera's offices at 2432 Grand Concourse, Suite 506.

"As a policy maker, I am working to bring healthier options to Bronxites, including green grocery stores, farmers markets and more fresh produce. But there is one thing we all need to take ownership of—including me—and that is our own personal health habits and behavior,” Rivera said.
City doctors know that it will take more than just regular visits to the doctor to solve the borough’s health problems.

"As physicians on the front lines of care in the Bronx, CIR members know from experience that the work we do in the hospitals will be insufficient on risk factors like obesity unless we also try to solve them in our communities,” said Dr. Yusef Williams, a Regional Vice President for New York for the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare.

“If we don’t change something, 50 percent of the children in this neighborhood will develop diabetes sometime in their lifetime,” said Dr. Jane Bedell, Assistant Commissioner for the Bronx District Public Health Office. "The Northwest Bronx has some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, asthma and heart disease both in the Bronx and throughout New York City.”

According to Department of Health statistics, the child obesity rate throughout the 33rd Senate District (Crotona-Tremont, Fordham-Bedford Park, and Kingsbridge-Riverdale) is over two percentage points higher than the city average of 37.


Norwood News Covers Bronx CAN Health Initiative

Senator Looks to Shed Pounds, Promote Healthy Living

June 17, 2011
By Fausto Giovanny Pinto


http://www.norwoodnews.org/id=3700&story=3700/


Dressed in Rocky-esque training attire — hooded sweatshirt, jogging pants and sneakers — State Senator Gustavo Rivera walked into the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center and challenged himself to a weigh-in.
Rivera was joined by Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. (sans workout attire) and numerous organizations, to launch the Bronx CAN Health Initiative.

CAN, which stands for Change Attitudes Now, looks to promote a healthier lifestyle among Bronxites, who often rank last on health polls. To help promote the initiative, which will encourage Bronxites to set healthy goals, Rivera said his goal was to lose 20 pounds by the end of the summer without using any gimmicky diet or workout program.

“There is no magic. Eat three-fourths of a plate, less fat, less sugar, less salt, less everything,” said Rivera.
Dr. Jane Bedell, assistant commissioner for the Bronx District Public Health Office, prefaced the weigh-in with some grim facts. One-third of Bronx adults are currently obese, she said. Even more startling was the prediction that if trends don’t change, as many as 50 percent of Bronx children will develop diabetes.

“We have come together before when our children were in danger and now it’s time to come together again,” said Bedell, comparing how Bronxites passed laws in the past for child hazards such as lead poisoning. She encouraged everyone to take a brisk walk for at least 20 minutes a day and substitute unhealthy snacks for better ones such as fruits and veggies.

The event included a mini-health fair with organizations, such as St. Barnabas Hospital, the American Heart Association, and the Bronx Green Machine, among others. Attendees were also treated to a healthy meal consisting of baked chicken, steamed broccoli, and fresh fruits.

Diaz encouraged all adults to lead a healthier lifestyle, paving a way for kids to follow. “If the Bronx has come so far in other areas such as housing, jobs, and crime, what is it all for, if we don’t improve our health?”
“I’m Puerto Rican, I love me some pork, and some fried food,” said Rivera. “There’s all this temptation, but it’s about small changes, eating in moderation,”

After jumping on the scale and tipping the scales at 299 pounds, Rivera joked that Diaz’s noticeably slimmer physique was what his weight loss after-shot would look like.
Rivera said he hoped to reach 250 pounds over the next 40 weeks and would have public weigh-ins showcasing his progress each month at future Bronx CAN events. He encouraged all participants to accept a health challenge.

Bronx CAN is currently being tested in the 33rd senatorial district (which makes up much of the northwest Bronx) before being expanded in the rest of the Bronx.

“I want to cut smoking and go to the gym for an hour a day. If anything, I’ll at least walk,” said local resident Laquetta Holmes, who signed up for the challenge. “It’s better than nothing.”

More Photos from Launch of Bronx CAN Health Initiative

Thanks to CIR-SEIU for the following photos:






Thursday, June 16, 2011

Riverdale Press Covers Bronx CAN Health Initiative

Riverdale Press:

"State Sen. Gustavo Rivera has set a goal to lose 20 pounds by October as part of a new health initiative he launched on Saturday with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Bronx CAN (Change Attitudes Now) aims to promote healthier lifestyles by bringing together local schools, community centers, health organizations and providers, community groups and religious institutions. The initiative will run through Oct. 24.

The initiative will allow Bronxites to set personal health goals and work toward achieving them. In addition to weight loss, goals can include eating healthier, quitting smoking, bringing down cholesterol levels or exercising on a regular basis.

Mr. Rivera said his own struggle with extra pounds, as well as the recently released County Health Rankings, which ranked the Bronx the unhealthiest county in the state, spurred him to action.

“I’ve had issues with my weight ... I was a skinny kid. I really didn’t think about establishing long-term healthier habits,” he said in a recent interview.

Mr. Rivera said he views himself as the “before,” and Mr. Diaz as the “after,” pictures.

Trimming the fat

“We would all like to look more like the borough president ... this is my role model. This is the guy I want to model myself after,” Mr. Rivera said.

“I am proud that my colleague, state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, is standing up for the health of his district and the entire Bronx by committing himself to becoming healthier over the course of this summer, and I wish him the best of luck in meeting his goals,” Mr. Diaz said in a press release.

Mr. Rivera plans to host a series of events within the 33rd district through October. For more information on participating organizations and events, go to www.bronxcan.com."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Senator Gustavo Rivera and Borough President Ruben Diaz Launch the Bronx CAN (Changing Attitudes Now) Health Initiative

Bronx Free Press:

Senator Gustavo Rivera and Borough President Ruben Diaz Launch the Bronx CAN (Changing Attitudes Now) Health Initiative

This past Sat., June 11th, Senator Gustavo Rivera (D,WF-Bronx) and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. came together to announce the launch of the at the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center in the 33rd Senate District alongside community partners.

The Bronx CAN Health Initiative brings together individuals, doctors and other health providers, places of worship, community gardens and community centers, schools, and civic-minded groups of all kinds to promote the types of behaviors that lead to healthy lifestyles.

The goal of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative is to have all the members of our community – young and old alike – build healthier lives, free of ailments like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.

As part of the initiative, community members signed up for the Bronx CAN Health Challenge, set their own personal health goals with the assistance of health care providers that were at Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center to provide support.

Goals included losing weight, exercising a certain amount of times a week, quitting smoking, and bringing down cholesterol levels.

"We cannot allow for the Bronx to continue being the unhealthiest county in New York State," said Senator Gustavo Rivera. "As a policy maker, I am working to bring healthier options to Bronxites, including green grocery stores, farmers markets and more fresh produce. But there is one thing we all need to take ownership of - including me - and that is our own personal health habits and behavior. That is why I am taking the Bronx CAN Health Challenge and have made my own personal health goal of losing 20 pounds. I invite more Bronxites to join me and set their own personal goal as part of the Bronx CAN Health Challenge."

“The Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center are proud to be Bronx CAN Health partners," said Kelly Garcia, Youth Coordinator for the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center. "We have just completed our own youth health challenge and are looking forward to continue working with all the kids and adults and that come to Mary Mitchell to participate in the Bronx CAN Health Challenge, attend Bronx CAN events and to continue to help give them the support they need to lead healthier lives."

Bronxites can continue to sign up for the Bronx CAN Health Challenge online at www.bronxcan.com or by visiting Senator Rivera's offices at 2432 Grand Concourse, Suite 506.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Senator Rivera and Borough President Diaz Invite Bronxites to Participate in Bronx CAN Health Initiative

Senator Rivera and Borough President Diaz Jr. Invite Bronxites to Participate in Bronx CAN Health Initiative