January 25, 2024 By Idaho CDHD Getting to know Healthy Active Lifestyles The Idaho CDHD has added a new project to our line-up – Healthy Active Lifestyles or HAL for short. This initiative focuses on creating fun and accessible activities available to people of all abilities. Specifically, it works to improve physical, emotional and social health outcomes for people with disabilities through programs based around active living and the outdoors. Project director, Dr Erik Luvaas, said, “The HAL Initiative engages people with disabilities in the co-creation of community-based programs addressing mental, social, and physical health and wellbeing.” So far, HAL has released two such programs – Movement in the Park and NatureFit – both of which provide a regular schedule of accessible activities that provide opportunities for people with disabilities to socialize with their peers while getting up, getting moving and getting outdoors. “Folks come together to learn and contribute to fitness classes, enjoying healthy foods, being in nature, and caring for the environment. The activities are good for the body, mind, and spirit!” Movement in the Park Did you know that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week? This HAL program helps participants hit that goal. For those that are not familiar, Movement in the Park (previously known as Adaptive Movement) is a student-led group fitness class. It runs throughout the academic year, with 25-minute classes that focus on four areas of the body: arms, legs, core and cardio. The program is open to people of all abilities, with adaptive exercise movements that provide personal bodily autonomy. In other words, you can get moving in a way that suits your body and fitness level best. Oh, and did we mention that it’s totally free? The spring 2024 session has started, with classes running every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. NatureFit There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that being outdoors and in natural environments is good for the mind and body. This HAL program helps to ensure that people of all abilities have equal opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors by facilitating nature-based community engagement activities. Through a regular schedule of events that focus on active living, food literacy and outdoor skill development, participants can expect to get outside while building useful life skills in a supportive social environment. Previous gatherings have included indoor and outdoor gardening, habitat restoration and nature exploration. The spring schedule hasn’t kicked off yet, so keep checking the HAL webpage. New information and event details will be posted as they become available. For more information about NatureFit, Movement in the Park or HAL, please visit our new webpage or contact us.