Drink More Watters "Movement as Medicine"
The Drink More Watters “Movement as Medicine” platform and initiative will use exercise and healthy lifestyle education to combat chronic disease disparities in Baltimore City. Chronic disease has been listed as a high priority by the Baltimore City Health Department. Studies have shown that exercise can prevent, treat and cure chronic diseases or the disabilities they cause.
For example, exercise has been found to be the most effective treatment for stroke survivors to regain functional ability and lead fully functional and happy lives. Other diseases and complex conditions include but are not limited to: heart disease, diabetes, amputation, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and even drug abuse and mental health disorders.
Currently, there are no resources or fitness facilities that are equipped to work with populations effected by these diseases and rehab programs at medical facilities are limited by insurance. As an exercise rehab specialist with a bachelor’s in sports medicine and a master’s degree in exercise science, I will create community events that allow everyone in the community to be involved. The larger events will include exercise groups for people disabled by disease to educate them about ways they can be active on their own. The groups may include yoga, boxing, or endurance exercises.
The events will also include exercise groups for seemingly healthy populations with the goal of educating the community about chronic disease prevention and accessing a pre-hypertensive and pre-diabetic community before things get worse. There will be medical professionals on site doing blood pressure and sugar screenings and healthy food vendors from the city will line the perimeter selling nutritious food and educating the community about healthier options. The event will be free for community members with a fee for vendors.
There will be big events that involve the entire community and smaller sessions for specific populations. Some events will be done in classroom settings where we talk about the effects of exercise and eating healthy meals, how to exercise and eat healthy, and where people can go for help. The platform will create spaces for people to talk and share experiences about their disease or condition. Chronic disease often times is just as much a social and mental issue as it is a physical one.
I will also create directories to point people in the directions of resources that currently exist. This platform will teach people how to use exercise and nutrition to take control of their health.