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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Get active, participate in Ciclovía physical activity gathering March 30

In a partnership to improve health and get into the spirit of physical activity, New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Department of Health have joined forces to organize a Ciclovía from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at Meerscheidt Recreation Center, 1600 E. Hadley Ave. in Las Cruces.

Ciclovía is a series of events to have fun at an organized physical activity day where participants can walk, run, skate, ride bikes, play racquetball, lift weights and participate in many more fun activities to get into an active mood. Ciclovía, Spanish for bike path, was originally started in Colombia. The cities of Bogota, Cali and Medellin closed off large blocks of streets for several hours every Sunday and holidays so they would be free of automobiles and give participants free access to bike, run, walk or partake in other physical activities.

"This event was developed from a coalition called the Doña Ana Diabetes Action Coalition and the intent of this is to recognize the impact that physical activity can have in preventing type 2 diabetes," said Lawrence A. Banegas, community health specialist for the New Mexico Department of Health.

The event is free and open to all the public and is an "opportunity to recognize the value and significance of physical activity to help people know that there are things they can do to help themselves and at the same time have fun," Banegas said.

Medical and scientific studies have shown that insufficient physical activity contributes to the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer and other chronic conditions, Banegas said.

Along with NMSU's Southern Area Health Education Center and the Cooperative Extension Service from the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, the city of Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico Diabetes Outreach are also on board and helped the diabetes coalition secure the Meerscheidt Recreation Center and will block off several streets so participants can have a larger area to use for their physical activities.

The Ciclovía events are scheduled for once a month, to start March 30 and continue on April 27, May 25 and June 29.

For more information please contact Beatriz Favela bfavela@nmsu.edu or call (575) 646-3441 Ext. 15; Lawrence A. Banegas, lawrence.banegas@state.nm.us or call (575) 528-5113, or Karim A. Martinez, karmarti@nmsu.edu or call (575) 525-6649.