May 4th, 2013 marked the official start date of Amigas en Salud, formerly the Latina Wellness Initiative, an exercise and health awareness program for the Latinas of our community.
The US population of Latinos has a 21% higher prevalence of obesity than non-Hispanic Whites. With obesity come numerous co-morbidities, namely diabetes and high blood pressure. The health benefits of regular physical activity and healthy eating include prevention and control of diabetes, prevention and control of high blood pressure, sense of community, and overall mental and physical well-being.
There are many different components of the program, including weekly Zumba classes, local vegetables provided free of charge to participants, childcare, and a variety tutorials. As of January 25, 2014 we have had tutorials on healthy eating, exercise, diabetes, hypertension, proper body mechanics of cleaning and lifting, maternal and child health, self-defense, contraception, health insurance in NC, domestic violence, and breast cancer. We have also been able to provide a medical screening, over 30 pairs of sneakers, and nutrition consultations for our participants. We collaborate(d) with the following outreach organizations: Farmer Foodshare, Seymour Center, El Centro Hispano, SHAC, Footcentric, and Fleet Feet outreach. Amigas en Salud promotes health among Latinas, fosters a sense of community, and forms important relationships between the Hispanic population and UNC.