Health is wealth.
Unfortunately, in many low-income communities, being healthy can be a challenge when there is a lack of resources. The situation is only compounded when there are no facilities to encourage physical activity. Many can’t afford gym memberships and some people may not feel safe working out in their neighborhoods. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and 3 WINS Fitness are changing this situation.
“We are currently conducting a pilot study in partnership with 3 WINS Fitness, which is an initiative spearheaded by Dr. Steven Loy at California State University – Northridge (CSUN),” said ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D. “3 WINS Fitness offers free exercise classes in communities that need more opportunities for structured physical activity.”
Seventy-eight percent of American adults do not meet the U.S. government’s national physical activity recommendations, and physical-inactivity related diseases like heart disease and diabetes affect billions of people worldwide.
ACE is a nonprofit organization that certifies exercise professionals and health coaches, sponsors original research, gathers experts on physical activity and health and works directly with community groups. Together with 3 WINS Fitness, they have created a community exercise program for low-resource communities in Los Angeles. Bryant is responsible for ensuring the scientific accuracy of ACE-commissioned studies, publications and all other materials created by ACE.
“My primary goals are to ensure that we are offering certifications and education materials that will prepare individuals to be outstanding exercise professionals and health coaches,” said Bryant.
Based in the San Fernando Valley, 3 WINS Fitness offers free exercise classes in communities that need more opportunities for structured physical activity.
“The classes are led by CSUN kinesiology student volunteers, many of whom have earned an ACE certification through our Community Empowerment Scholarship program,” said Bryant. “As the name suggests, the program truly creates three winners: the students, the participants and the communities.”
On April 18, members of public health agencies and local politicians joined hundreds of community members in a group exercise celebration. The workout kicked off a summit to bring community partners together to discuss the future expansion of the program throughout Los Angeles County, and the results of a study on how community workouts and health education affect participants with diabetes. Programs like these are essential to keeping the community healthy and thriving—Bryant agrees.
“Programs like 3 WINS are essential for creating safe, accessible and effective physical-activity opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and socio-economic backgrounds,” said Bryant. “Perhaps most importantly, however, 3 WINS is successful at convincing people to not only attend a class, but to come back again and again.”
Through initiatives like ACE’s partnership with 3WINS, ACE has grown its family of active ACE-Certified health coaches and exercise professionals to more than 80,000.
“We are proud of the partnership and greatly pleased by the results,” said Bryant. “We look forward to working with 3 WINS to maximize its impact on communities and secure a sustainable future.”
Bryant continued, “ACE will continue to partner with local and national organizations that are pioneering physical-activity experiences directly in communities and neighborhoods, most at low or no cost, and help those groups increase their reach and impact.”
For more information, call (800) 825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org