CHA Celebrates 10 Years of Helping Residents Lose Weight, Lower Blood Pressure and Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

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CHESTER, PA — The Chester Housing Authority (CHA) is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its ANUME (A-NU-ME) program. Through food shopping and cooking education, diet, group exercise, gardening, and group support, the ANUME program helps residents attend activities to help control their weight, reduce blood pressure, and lower cardiovascular risk.

Initially a two-year pilot “With Every Heartbeat is Life” (WEHL) program that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designated CHA to implement with $300,000 in funding, the exercise program has become a model program for modifying behavior to reduce cardiovascular vulnerability and improve health prospects among a low-income population.

“When we started ANUME, we certainly hoped the program would engage our residents, but we could not have anticipated how positive the response or impact would be,” said CHA Executive Director Steven Fischer. “We are grateful to HUD and the many partners and community members who have made ten years of ANUME possible.”

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In the past decade, the ANUME program has maintained the five key components outlined in the WEHL program: group fitness sessions, independent fitness activities, nutrition and wellness workshops, hands-on education activities, and healthy food access. The program is now self-funded, with participants paying $2 per class. There are four sessions held each week.

“ANUME has inspired better health, community engagement, and joy since its inception,” said CHA Resident and Community Health Worker Deborah Montgomery. “The regular participation we’ve seen from residents has shown ANUME is an important way to support our CHA community.”

Group exercise classes include Zumba, personal training, cardio classes, circuit training, and line dancing.

ANUME is one of five CHA Resident Development programs. Other programs include Community Farming, Fathers are Talking, Resident Training Academy, Women’s Circle, and Year-End Giving. For more information about CHA’s programming for residents, visit www.chesterha.org/resident-development-programs.cfm.

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