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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 059-05
Monday, July 11, 2005

CONTACT: (212) 788-5290; (212) 788-3058 (After Hours)
Warner Johnston / Carli Smith (Parks) (212) 360-1311
Andrew Tucker (DOH) (212) 788-5290


CITY OF NEW YORK INVITED TO GET FIT AND IN SHAPE WITH STEP OUT, NEW YORK CITY

NEW YORK CITY – July 11, 2005 – Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, NYC Commission on Women’s Issues Health Chair Mary Henwood-Klotz, YMCA of Greater New York’s Youth & Family Program Development Vice President Rochelle Green Wimpfheimer, Police Athletic League Executive Director John Ryan, and Alianza Dominicana Executive Director Moises Perez today announced Step Out, New York City, a comprehensive, citywide walking program jointly developed by the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues for families and individuals of all ages to take place throughout the summer. Commissioner Benepe and event representatives then joined Northern Manhattan community members in a ceremonial walk around J. Hood Wright Park’s inner footpath to commence the program.

Step Out, New York City provides participants with the opportunity to get fit and in shape while also enjoying the splendor of the city with fellow family and community members,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Benepe. “I encourage busy New Yorkers to take advantage of this program by showing up at a participating site next week.”

“Thirty minutes of physical activity on most days, such as a brisk walk, is essential for a healthy heart ─ a priority of our Take Care New York health policy,” said Health Commissioner Frieden. “The Step Out program is a step in the right direction. It makes use of our City's beautiful parks, which provide ample opportunity for anyone who wants to be more physically active in their community.”

“We are dedicated to keeping the health of women a top priority in our City,” said Chair of the New York City Commission on Women's Issues Anne Sutherland Fuchs. “Step Out, New York City gives women and their families the perfect opportunity to stay healthy while exploring our City's great outdoors during the summer.”

Scheduled to take place every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from July 12 through August 27, participants will meet at approximately 80 locations around the city to take part in organized community walks. Walks will be held from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, and will range in length from 1 to 2 miles.

Participants will receive pedometers, donated by Pfizer through the AppleCare Foundation, to track their steps, and t-shirts to highlight their commitment to fitness during the six weeks of the program (while supplies last). Participants can record the number of steps they take and monitor their progress over the course of the summer. Those who are the most active participants will receive prizes and other rewards for their efforts.

Step Out, New York City is a collaboration of Parks & Recreation, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues, the YMCA, and the Police Athletic League. The free program was designed to encourage citizens to get out in the summer months and experience the city while also initiating a healthy and essential fitness routine. For more information and site locations, please visit www.nyc.gov/stepoutnyc.

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Step Out, New York City
NYC Commission on Women’s Issues
NYC Department of Parks and Recreation