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Indianapolis pledges to become a top 10 healthies city by 2025

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INDIANAPOLIS — Community leaders and the public united with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to support long-term plans to make central Indiana one of the 10 healthiest communities in the United States by 2025. Hundreds in attendance at the Indy Bike Hub YMCA participated in the inaugural event promoting a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the support shown for the Top 10 by 2025 initiative,” said Eric Ellsworth, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. “When it comes to healthy lifestyles and accessibility to health and wellness resources, our region consistently ranks low among other communities. However, the turnout today proves that citizens will rally behind positive change.”

The health of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas is measured annually by the American Fitness Index. In 2012, metropolitan Indianapolis was ranked 43rd out of 50 communities and 45th in 2011. The American College of Sports Medicine developed the AFI program in 2007 to improve Americans’ health, fitness and quality of life by promoting physical activity. The metropolitan area measured by the AFI includes Boone, Brown, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, Putnam and Shelby counties.

“Indianapolis is moving in the direction of becoming a healthier, more bicycle-friendly, sustainable, connected city, and efforts to achieve improved overall wellness are part of our goals to help residents attain a better quality of life,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “The Top 10 initiative is a great opportunity for people to get personally involved in efforts to reduce the prevalence of major diseases common in central Indiana, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease.”

The YMCA envisions central Indiana as a provider of unparalleled health and fitness resources that will improve the well-being of citizens. Along with healthy living, those resources will, in turn, allow the community to achieve top standing on the AFI. Thirty-eight community partners are working with the YMCA on Top 10 by 2025. The four areas of focus include:

· Increasing physical activity

· Improving nutrition

· Decreasing smoking

· Improving the wellness environment

The ACSM also selected the Indianapolis area in 2011 to participate in the AFI Technical Assistance Program. With this pilot program, ACSM, the YMCA and the Alliance for Health Promotion are identifying areas for improvement related to healthy living and physical activity.

To donate or for more information about YMCA programs and services, visit www.OurCauseIsYou.org.

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