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Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services creates ‘bike library’ program

Updated: Jul. 17, 2019 at 4:35 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Louisiana is currently ranked 50th in health rankings in the United States and Calcasieu Parish is ranked 20th in the state for health outcomes, according to the Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services.

Those are numbers the center is looking to change, starting with their new bike library.

The program is made possible by a partnership with Healthy Blue.

The goal is for individuals and groups to be able to go to the center any day of the week, check out a bike for free, then return it after their ride.

In addition to that, Jayvon Muhammad, chief executive officer for the center, said they’re starting weekly bike rides on Wednesdays at 1 p.m..

“We are here to improve the health of our community, and we have some real challenges when it comes to health," Muhammad said. "We need to be a little bit more physically active.”

Muhammad said that the health of the community is one of the biggest obstacles that the center faces.

She said the bike library is a proactive way to address the issue.

“We need to build unity in the community," Muhammad said. "We need to get out and re-meet our neighbors and do things that will foster community, so that we can as a community be well, instead of just as an individual.”

Dianna Ross, the center’s Director of Community Affairs, added to that.

She said the community aspect of bike riding makes it more enjoyable for many people.

“When you get people together and they find out it’s fun, it becomes fun all of a sudden to exercise, and this is one of the perfect ways of doing that," Ross said.

She said bike riding also has very real health benefits, like reducing stress, heart disease and blood pressure.

If you’re interested in checking out a bike, the center is located at 2000 Opelousas Street in Lake Charles.

They have both youth and adult bikes.

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