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Additional Ciclovía physical activity events to be held

Funding from a city community development grant has allowed New Mexico State University, a member of the Dona Ana Diabetes Action Coalition, to hold three Ciclovía physical activity events in the coming months.

The events are free and open to the public and will be held on Aug. 31, Sept. 28 and Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Meersheidt Recreation Center, located at 1600 E. Hadley Ave. in Las Cruces.

Previous Ciclovías were held in March, April, May and June, and the success of these has led to continuation of the events.

The Ciclovía events were created to help encourage physical activity among families. During the event, a few streets are blocked off around the recreation center so people may enjoy outdoor as well as indoor activities.

Activities at the event vary from month to month, but some that have been held in the past include walking, biking, gymnastics, weight training and exergames such as Dance, Dance Revolution and Wii.

"Many times, people tend to think of exercise as a chore, but Ciclovía is a way to get people to realize exercise is fun," said Karim Martinez, interim program director and home economist for the Doña Ana County Cooperative Extension Service.

Ciclovía, Spanish for bike path, was originally started in Bogota, Colombia. Streets were blocked off every Sunday and holidays to allow residents free access so they could participate in physical activities such as biking or running.

The Dona Ana Diabetes Action Coalition developed the event in Las Cruces to recognize the impact physical activity can have in preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes.

For more information, contact Martinez at karmarti@nmsu.edu or call (575) 525-6649.