Wellness Options in Victorville, CA
Staying healthy has become less work in Victor Valley, where communities have developed programs, athletic events and farmers markets that make it easy for residents to find nourishing foods and ways to burn calories.
The communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hespira and Victorville are all participating in the Healthy High Desert initiative which establishes individual wellness programs for residents. One of the many people keeping a finger on the pulse of healthy living in Victory Valley is Allen Christensen, community benefit analyst and healthy cities coordinator at St. Joseph Health, St. Mary.
“Our hospital obviously helps patients who are sick or injured, plus many of our efforts these days involve getting into the community and focusing on wellness initiatives,” Christensen says. “I work with several organizations throughout the High Desert that want to promote health and wellness in their communities.”
Christensen says several farmers markets have been established in the different cities and towns to offer fresh produce to Victor Valley residents, and even St. Joseph Health, St. Mary sets up a farmers market on its hospital campus every Friday.
“We have a vendor on-site from noon-4 p.m. to offer fruit and vegetables to our employees who otherwise would be unable to visit such a market,” he says. “St. Joseph Health also hosts twice-a-year free workshops called Healthy Eating Active Living, or HEAL, that show residents how to shop strategically, personalize exercise programs, cook healthy and much more.”
Run, Bike, Eat Healthier
Meanwhile, other examples of health and wellness efforts in the High Desert include a Maverick 5K Mud Run in Adelanto every July, a Mojave Narrow Half Marathon in Victorville in June, an Apple Valley Reverse Triathlon each September and a Route 66 5K Turkey Trot in Victorville on Thanksgiving Day. Other initiatives in Victorville are 5K and 10K bicycle events organized by the Victorville Chamber of Commerce, while the city of Victorville implemented a Vending Machine Nutrition policy in April 2011 so that vending machines in public schools and public buildings have at least 50 percent of food/snacks offered that meet national nutrition standards.
More Future Plans
Victorville is also currently studying a nonmotorized transportation plan on the city's growing west side, intended to eventually construct a safe network of on-road and trail bike and walking routes for local residents and visitors. The plan is for the network to eventually link public facilities, retail centers and other areas of interest.
“There are also many swimming opportunities available to residents in the communities throughout the High Desert,” Christensen says. “Wellness is a priority these days in our region, with the city, county, chamber, hospitals and other organizations trying to do our part to advance the wellness effort.”
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