Tag Archives: Health

A city dangerous for pedestrians + ranked among least fit?

ThinkingThere may be a correlation between two reports released in recent weeks looking at Birmingham, AL and our metro area’s level of fitness.

Last week The Atlantic published a piece by Richard Florida, one of their senior editors best known for his book The Rise of the Creative Class (affiliate link) and the accompanying website. It focused on the results of this year’s American College of Sports Medicine‘s American Fitness Index, an index that included Birmingham, AL.

The report points out that metro Birmingham, although ranking 47th out of 50 areas examined in this study, contains more farmers markets and more park units per capita than the other cities though most of it sits outside of the urban areas.

The folks over at the Living Streets Alliance pointed out the striking correlation between those cities with high percentages of commuting to work by bike and those cities that were among considered the most fit in the index. The results of a report referenced recently by The Birmingham News could also be looked at as a reason for our metro area’s fitness ranking – it lists the Birmingham-Hoover metro area as the 16th most dangerous for pedestrians in the country (with 136 between 2000-2009).

It’s not like metro Birmingham hasn’t started trying to address the issues including Railroad Park’s “Get Healthy on the Railroad” and the Our One Mile initiatives.

Photo: Thinking. Max Wolfe/Flickr.

Learn how to Save a Life on Saturday

Red_Cross_LogoThe Birmingham area chapter of American Red Cross will be one of more than 100 participating in the Gabrielle Giffords Honorary Save-a-Life nationwide event this Saturday, March 19.

Attendees will receive free abbreviated training courses on hands-only CPR, the treatment of shock and how to treat wounds (classes normally valued at at least $25). According to the page created for the event, the recent events in Arizona “reminded the nation of the importance of being prepared in the event of an emergency,” particularly in the area of first-aid training.

This will give many their first opportunity to visit the local chapter’s new headquarters (114 22nd Street South).

The classes are being sponsored nationally by Safeway and Walgreens (whom The Birmingham News recently reported will move forward to renovate the former Engine No. 22 fire station on Clairmont Avenue as part of plans to construct a new location for the pharmacy company on the adjacent property).

This year, join Stephen’s 13.1 mile team

Stephen Vinson at Railroad ParkA lot has changed since we first mentioned Stephen Vinson’s blog, Who Ate My Blog, back in July 2009. Back then we were trying to help him get the word out about pulling together a team for the 2010 BE&K 5K (now 5KBR).

This year he’s set an even bigger goal for himself – to complete this year’s Mercedes Half-Marathon.

He’s also been able to share his story with much larger platforms than before, including this year’s New Year’s Day cover story for The Birmingham News , being interviewed as part of the Champions of Health initiative and one of the subjects of a B-Metro piece on members of Birmingham’s local social media community.

His site’s also undergone a redesign since that first visit as well, meaning that you’ve got a great excuse to check-in and say hello to Stephen.

Photo: Vinson at Railroad Park, September 2010.

Wear Red today!

Go Red for Women logoDon’t be surprised if you see a lot of red today as you’re moving through town (or across the country for that matter).

These conscientious people are doing their part to help raise awareness about heart disease and stroke, the number one killers among women in the United States. National Go Red for Women Day’s official website can provide you with additional information that you can share with others today and help keep you informed of any other things that you can do to raise awareness.

Logo: Courtesy of official website.

Hiers named to Presidential Advisory Council on AIDS/HIV

Kathie Hiers. Courtesy of Facebook profileLast week President Obama reopened the Office of National AIDS Policy and made new appointments to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). Among the 24 individuals selected to serve on the council is Kathie Hiers, CEO of AIDS Alabama, a recognized leader and expert nationwide in the HIV/AIDS arena. PACHA is tasked with creating a national HIV/AIDS strategy.

Decisions made by PACHA will be recommended to the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  According to the press release that was posted via Facebook earlier today, Hiers is in pretty good company as folks normally selected to serve on PACHA are considered “significant community leaders with in-depth knowledge in HIV/AIDS, public health, global health, or business and may also include other highly regarded national figures.”

Photo: Courtesy of announcement on Facebook.

Find out when the flu hits Birmingham

So what do they do with all of that search data at Google? Well, apparently one of the things that they do is use it to attempt to estimate flu occurrences around the world, including Birmingham, AL.

Flu Trends is one of the projects that exist on Google.org – the company’s philanthropic arm – that appears to be quite accurate in figuring out when different parts of the country come down with the flu. Eerily so – but it looks like if the trend won’t be that bad for the rest of the year (at least, so far).

Screenshot: from Google.org

Join Stephen’s 5K team in February

wambheaderStephen Vinson started Who Ate My Blog? in February of this year. The purpose of the blog is simple – a friend challenged him to lose 300 pounds between February of this year and April of 2010. If he’s successful, his friend has promised him an all-expense paid trip to the Talladega 500 (complete with limo).

One of Stephen’s goals is to walk a 5K; he’s chosen to participate in the 2010 BE&K 5K benefiting Kid One Transport. He’s even saying that there may even be some t-shirts made up for those willing to be part of the WhoAteMyBlog.com team… Leave a comment on his post and let him know if you’re interested.