Amigas en Salud (http://amigasensalud.org/), formerly the Latina Wellness Initiative (LWI), is an exercise and health awareness program for the Latinas of our community. It seeks to promote health among Latinas, to foster a sense of community, and to form important relationships between the Hispanic population and UNC. Amigas en Salud is an independent community organization that partners with SHAC to recruit volunteers.
Why? 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.
Who? The program currently has 20+ participants of varying ages. Amigas en Salud has brought together volunteers from the different UNC Health Science schools, a Zumba Instructor, El Centro Hispano (a Hispanic outreach organization in Carrboro) and SHAC.
What? There are many different components of the program, including diet consultations; healthy recipes with fresh, local vegetables provided free of charge; Zumba and Pilates for exercise; a medical screening; and tutorials on healthy eating, exercise, diabetes, hypertension, proper body mechanics, women's health, self-defense, contraception, etc.
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