Eastside Medical, Gwinnett Parks and Recreation partner for health initiative

Eastside Medical Center and Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation want residents to invest in personal wellness.

To that end, the organizations announced Tuesday a partnership for Live Healthy Gwinnett. The initiative will combine clinical expertise from Eastside Medical Center physicians and staff with wellness recommendations and activities offered by Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation. Live Healthy Gwinnett will focus on four overall wellness areas: be active, eat healthy, get checked and be positive.

“We are taking a proactive wellness approach to address the preventable chronic illnesses that impact individuals of Gwinnett County,” said Kim Ryan, CEO of Eastside Medical Center. “People can significantly reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases by making simple lifestyle changes: eating healthy, increasing physical activity and reducing stress.”

According to a 2013 report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Georgia ranked the 20th most obese state, with a 26 percent rate for adults in Gwinnett County. The 2013 Gwinnett County Health Department Community Health Assessment states, “Gwinnett’s current obesity rate of 26 percent places a quarter of the adult population at higher risk for serious conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, and stroke” and that “20 percent of Gwinnett County residents get no leisure-time physical activity.”

“This initiative will allow individuals in the community to live to play and play to live,” said Tina Fleming, director of Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation. “Live Healthy Gwinnett encourages the community to combat health issues by combining physical activities with counseling from professional physicians and staff.”

To launch Live Healthy Gwinnett, a POP-UP Park event will be open to the community from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Eastside Medical Center. The free, family-friendly event will consist of a variety of fitness demonstrations, inflatables, music, free medical screenings, giveaways and activities for all ages. Activities range from yoga to life-sized chess games and even a farmer’s market and food demonstrations by certified nutritionists.

A kick-off event, 1, 2, 3K Glow and Show, will be held the night before at 8 p.m. April 25 with on-site registration beginning at 7 p.m. The event will include a 3K glow in the dark fun walk/run at Alexander Park and a free movie. All proceeds will support the Live Healthy Gwinnett scholarship fund, through the Gwinnett Parks Foundation, which will offer assistance to residents who cannot afford classes, programs and/or activities.

For more information on Live Healthy Gwinnett and to stay up-to-date on the launch event, visit LiveHealthyGwinnett.com and check out the Live Healthy Gwinnett Facebook page.