Beep urges Brooklynites to lighten up, through exercise

With summer finally here – hello, sunshine, breezes andschool-less days – now is the chance for Brooklynites to get out ofthe house and office to area parks, beaches and gyms for a littlefun, says Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. If we happento get some exercise while we’re at it, then that’s evenbetter.

In an effort to encourage more people to get out and about,Markowitz has launched the 2011 Lighten Up Brooklyn campaign, aninitiative to combat obesity and promote a healthy lifestylethrough increased physical activity. Now in its 10th year, theproject continues to have a place in a world full of rising obesityrates, including among children.

The initiative opened on Thursday, July 7, with a Lighten UpBrooklyn Health Fair on Borough Hall plaza that featured RobertTaylor Jr., a 31-year-old dancer, instructor and Brooklyn nativewho competed this year on the Fox reality show, So You Think YouCan Dance.

Hundreds of people stopped by to have a senior workout with aformer Rockette, to take an exercise class, to learn how to cookhealthy meals with simple foods, and to use dancing as a fun wayfor young people to stay healthy. There was even a group power walkled by Markowitz and Brooklyn Parks and Recreation DepartmentCommissioner Kevin Jeffrey.

Nearly 60 percent of Brooklyn adults are overweight – that’shigher than the state average, said Markowitz to the crowdgathered at Borough Hall Plaza last week. We also rank aboveaverage in the health risks associated with obesity, such asdiabetes and heart disease [and] some Brooklyn neighborhoods havethe highest obesity rates of any in the city.

The goal of this initiative, Markowitz said, is to get everyoneworking together [so that] we can all help Brooklyn ‘lighten up’ -creating a healthier and happier city.

The event was sponsored by Boar’s Head, Emblem Health andPreferred Health Partners, with support from the city Department ofHealth and Mental Hygiene.

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