Healthy Lifestyles Encouraged at the Gary Comer Youth Center

Lee Edwards | 1/15/2014, 2:42 p.m.
On Friday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness hosted an event to encourage Illinois citizens to ...
The Gary Comer Youth Center is located at 7200 S. Ingleside Ave., in Chicago.

On Friday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness hosted an event to encourage Illinois citizens to participate in health and fitness activities that will help them live a healthier, happier and more productive life, at the Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S Ingleside Ave., in Chicago.

As part of an on-going effort to improve the health and well-being of Illinois residents, the affair offered interactive sessions such as, "Walk Across Illinois Counties Bingo," Cooking Matters," "Are You Fitter Than A Fifth Grader" and "Muscle Up With The Mascots," to dynamically demonstrate how residents can incorporate healthy habits into their everyday lives.

“The best preventative medicine is a healthy lifestyle,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “Innovative programs like the ones we’re kicking off today will help people from every corner of Illinois on the path toward healthy living.”

“Good nutrition and regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and many other chronic diseases and serious health conditions,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “I encourage residents to take charge of their health and to actively participate in improving the health of their community.”

IDPH is launching the Illinois Healthy Worksite Annual Recognition Program for the benefit of Illinois citizens in the work place so that they may be able to engage in healthy practices that benefit both the employer and employees. Workplaces may seek the “Healthy Worksite” designation at the gold, silver or bronze achievement level by completing up to five criteria:


  1. Actively promote and support healthy nutrition at work.

  2. Provide and encourage opportunities for physical activity at work.


  1. Develop a 12-month Health & Wellness Calendar and an ongoing communication plan to promote employee health and well-being throughout the year.

  2. Demonstrate a commitment to employee health and well-being by making it part of the organization’s mission statement, goals and operations.


  1. Develop lifestyle and disease management strategies and measure their success annually.

To help workplaces succeed in becoming healthier and achieving the “Healthy Worksite” designation, IDPH is also launching We Choose Health 365, a wellness portal providing customized company competitions, health tools and trackers, as well as education materials. Participants will have 24/7 access to a food and calorie tracker; recipes with local coupons; a weight and activity tracker; exercise, walking and weight-loss company challenges; and more. Register at www.wechoosehealth365.org and click “Join Today.” And find out about the Amazing Challenge, coming February 1.

We Choose Health 365 is sponsored by IDPH, Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Live Healthy America.

Helping businesses and residents work together to improve the health of their communities is one way IDPH is working toward developing essential partnerships and implementing IDPH’s Five Year Strategy. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf.

For more information about the Gary Comer Youth Center visit http://www.gcychome.org/.