3 Moves Toward a Healthier Savannah

Ready . . . Set . . . Let’s Go! As a Let’s Move City, Savannah stays ready. . . Ready for action or should I say activity! Dubbed one of America’s most walkable cities, Savannah has taken steps (pun intended) to help residents live healthier lives. Whether you choose to participate in Walk Georgia or a walk around Lake Mayer, there’s always a standing (and stretching) invitation to move. [clear] Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 recommends that we: Limit screen time to 2 hours a day. Notice that I did not say TV time. Yes, sitting on your couch watching Hulu+ on your Ipad or browsing Instagram via your smartphone counts as screentime. In other words, if you are not watching AND MOVING to FitTV or your Wii, screen time = missed opportunities to be active. [clear]Participate in at least one (1) hour of physical activity a day. That’s right kiddos and those who were once kiddos, we must get physical! This means you can walk anywhere, ride your bike, scoot your scooter (nonmotorized of course), kick and box (aka kickboxing), or yoga (yes, I used it as verb). No matter your moves, as long as they add up to 60 minutes of activity, you rock (back and forth). [clear] Wondering where to get your groove, I mean move on. Check out these 3 local moves toward a healthier Savannah.

1. City of Savannah Parks and Recreation

The City of Savannah Parks and Recreation Department engages youth and adults in variety of physical activity. I’m not just talking about those darling pint-sized football players that shake and bake at Daffin Park on Saturdays. The City sports several adult leagues such as softball and kickball (Yes, old skool is the new school!). There’s open play and organized tennis. Have you seen the tennis courts at Forsyth Park? It’s truly a lifetime sport. If these activities don’t fit your lifestyle, several community centers offer free group fitness classes where you can Zumba your worries away. And, if all this land talk has you feeling like a fish out of water, head down to the Chatham County Aquatic Center. Find what tickles your fancy, and get moving!

Savannah is 1 of 10 cities participating in the Play Streets 2013 series. Supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield and Partnership for a Healthier America

2. Play Streets

Play is the best physical activity ever! Remember freeze tag? Now, that’s an intense interval training session. Conditioning benefits aside, we can agree that play is simply fun. Sadly, one in five (or 15 million) US children have no access to parks and playgrounds. This means they have compromised opportunities for play, physical activity, and fun (PHA, 2013). Savannah’s Play Streets reminds us that everyone, no matter how young, deserves safe places to play. By closing neighborhood streets and creating play spaces, Play Streets promotes physical activity. (Check out my Creative Coast Guest Blog: Community Transformers to learn how Play Streets create possibilities for active living and community building.) Dozens of community partners have collaborated to bring Savannah residents two successful Play Streets events in April and May. With fall approaching, we welcome two more “block parties” (That’s what you call it when folks gather in the streets and have fun, right?):

May Street Family Day Saturday, October 19, 2013 Time: 1pm-4pm Where: May St., from Emerald St. to Anderson St.

Food Day Play Saturday, October 26, 2013 Time: 12pm-5pm Where: Daffin Park

3. L.E.A.N. Challenge

Recently, Healthy Savannah kicked off the Savannah Leadership, Exercise, Activity, and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.) Community Challenge. This FREE 10-week challenge encourages healthy living. It’s a chance to join up with others (4-6 folks = a team) and try out some healthy practices. Together, you might attend fitness classes (at a City of Savannah community center), share healthy recipes (with ingredients from the Forsyth Farmers Market), or walk a few times a week (ok, you can talk about screen time shows if you promise to keep it moving!). So go ahead and pull your community team together.  This can be your family, friends, coworkers, church members, meetup mates, happy hour homies, card-playing cronies, or the next 5 strangers you meet today. Whoever you choose, please keep all coercion details to yourself.  No questions will be asked. However, your team will need to officially weigh-in. Then move from September 25 – December 4.  Healthy prizes will be offered! Whether you accept the L.E.A.N. Community Challenge, commit to playful living in the streets of Savannah, or take advantage of local healthy resources, stay ready and keep it moving! This blog post is part of a series.