Two years ago this past Mother’s Day, Buckeye resident Jose Valdez suffered a stroke. Once out of the hospital and on the road to recovery, Jose knew the importance of daily exercise to maintain his health.
He attended a few physical therapy sessions, but this became a challenge to attend since the therapist was located in Phoenix. With limited transportation options, Jose stopped going to physical therapy, but knew he needed to do something to get back into shape.
He began talking daily walks, and even though this was a good start, he soon realized he needed to do more to return his health to where it was before his stroke.
A friend mentioned to Jose he should join Buckeye’s Fit & Strong! program. After a little investigating, Jose enrolled in June of 2017. After the first class, he knew this was the perfect class for him.
Not only do these classes provide cardio exercises for people like Jose, they also include lectures on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Since he enrolled in the program a few months ago, Jose has told his instructors and friends that his health, mobility, speech and attitude have dramatically improved.
Buckeye is one of only four sites that received funding for this National Recreation and Park Association pilot program funded by the Center for Disease Control.
While Fit & Strong! programs operate in other states, this pilot program is focused on expanding the delivery and dissemination of evidence-based arthritis intervention. Once enough data is collected, the four cities in the pilot program will provide lessons learned to local parks and recreation agencies nationwide, benefitting even more people like Jose.