2023 Power Up Fitness Program Sponsored by Mike Tyson Cares

The Why

Promoting children’s engagement in fitness activities holds greater significance now than ever, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic. Participating in regular physical exercise not only enhances physical health but also contributes significantly to mental well-being, fostering resilience in the face of adversity. The disruptions caused by the pandemic, including reduced outdoor activities and increased screen time, underscore the imperative for young individuals to prioritize their fitness. Moreover, it plays a pivotal role in managing stress, anxiety, and mood fluctuations, which have been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. Embracing fitness empowers the youth to elevate their overall quality of life, bolster self-confidence, and establish positive habits that will prove advantageous well into their adulthood.

A recent focused group discussion was conducted with students and parents from Loreto Street Elementary, primarily centered around the support and requirements of the community. Students expressed their keen desire to continue participating in various sports and fitness activities. In parallel, parents shared similar sentiments but provided more comprehensive insights. Parents emphatically conveyed that the aftermath of the pandemic disrupted numerous aspects of their daily lives, resulting in several challenges that impacted their children’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL encompasses the process by which individuals develop skills to comprehend and manage their emotions, set and attain goals, demonstrate empathy towards others, cultivate and sustain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Some of the challenges include feelings of loneliness, limited emotional regulation, diminished communication, disrupted routines and structures, heightened stress and anxiety, and the loss of important milestones and rituals.

Furthermore, the pandemic-induced reduction in social interactions led to an increased tendency for children to stay indoors, often adopting habits such as excessive video gaming and unhealthy eating. The feedback received by Heal LA from parents revealed that their children also experienced weight gain due to the pandemic. Parents expressed a genuine desire for their children to become more active and engage in physical movement.

Power Up Fitness Program

The Power Up Fitness Program is currently in its third year of operation, hosted at the Montecito Heights Recreation Center, conveniently located just a few miles away from Loreto Street Elementary. With the program scheduled on weekends, we’ve taken into consideration the convenience of parents who bring their children, making a park setting at the center ideal for sparking excitement. Since its inception in 2021, the program’s participation numbers have progressively increased each year, opening up more opportunities for students at Loreto Street Elementary to get involved.

The importance of fitness in leading a healthier life has always been evident, and particularly in the post-pandemic era, its significance has grown even more apparent. This underscores the value of programs like the Power Up Fitness Program. Spanning seven weeks, the program is guided by expert instructors from UCLA Health Sports Performance Powered by EXOS. It employs a dynamic, team-based approach to youth fitness. Within the 90-minute sessions, participants partake in a variety of activities, including relay races, dodgeball, capture the flag, and tug of war. These not only foster teamwork, camaraderie, and enjoyment but also ensure an engaging and pleasurable experience for all involved.

Central to our program’s mission is the establishment of a strong fitness foundation. We achieve this through a diverse array of exercises that challenge participants both physically and mentally. Guided by our seasoned EXOS instructors, the program offers expert guidance, motivation, and support, cultivating an environment that is both positive and inclusive. This nurturing atmosphere empowers young individuals to elevate their physical fitness, enhance their performance, and improve their overall well-being.

Our Power Up Fitness encompasses five main goals:

  1. Improve Physical Health: The primary goal of a fitness program is to improve physical health. Regular exercise has numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. By setting a goal to improve physical health, Heal LA’s Power Up Fitness Program can help participants lead healthier lives, reduce their risk of chronic diseases, and increase their overall well-being.
  2. Promote Mental Health: Exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, and improving mood and cognitive function. Setting a goal to promote mental health can highlight the importance of exercise as a tool for managing stress and improving mental well-being. It can also encourage participants to prioritize self-care and make exercise a regular part of their routine.
  3. Foster Social Connections: Group fitness programs can provide an opportunity for participants to connect with others who share similar interests and goals. Setting a goal to foster social connections can promote a sense of community and support among participants, which can contribute to increased motivation, accountability, and enjoyment of the program. Social connections can also lead to long-term adherence to exercise habits, as participants are more likely to stick with a program when they feel supported by others.
  4. Promote Long-Term Exercise Habits: By setting a goal to promote long-term exercise habits, Heal LA’s Power Up Fitness Program aims to provide participants with the knowledge, resources, and support they need to continue exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle beyond the duration of the program. This goal recognizes the importance of sustainable exercise routines in achieving lasting improvements in physical and mental health. By helping participants establish a regular exercise routine and providing strategies for overcoming barriers to exercise, the program can promote the development of lifelong healthy habits. Additionally, by connecting participants with ongoing fitness opportunities in their community, the program can help ensure that the benefits of the program are sustained over time.
  5. Increase Access to Fitness Opportunities: Heal LA’s Power Up Fitness Program can set a goal to increase access to fitness opportunities for underserved populations, including low-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized groups. Lack of access to affordable and inclusive fitness options can be a barrier to physical activity and overall health. By setting a goal to increase access to fitness opportunities, the program can help address health disparities and promote equity in health and wellness.

Our Sponsor, Mike Tyson Cares!

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s Power Up Fitness program is proudly sponsored by Mike Tyson Cares! The mission of Mike Tyson Cares is dedicated to offering individuals in lower-income communities a fighting chance at a better quality of life. They achieve this by collaborating with established local charities and organizations that share these values. Through their initiatives, they lay the groundwork for community-based charities and programs, raising both funds and awareness. Their efforts extend to contributing monetary donations to diverse programs worldwide, focusing on aiding the homeless, establishing educational initiatives, combatting social injustice, and supporting prison reform.

The significant commitment from Mike Tyson and Mike Tyson Cares has enabled us to provide every participant with new Nike athletic shoes. Given the ongoing rise in inflation that impacts the families we serve, even something as simple as shoes can become a financial burden. The Heal Los Angeles Foundation deeply appreciates the partnership with Mike Tyson Cares.

Reflecting on his foundation, Mike Tyson shares,

“I come from a background of poverty, which allows me to understand the challenges that affect communities plagued by hopelessness and despair. My foundation is dedicated to supporting community-based programs that transform hopelessness into hope.”

For more details about the remarkable work carried out by Mike Tyson Cares, please visit their website: https://miketysoncares.org/.

In conclusion, the Power Up Fitness Program continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of the young individuals in our community. As we navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the importance of physical and mental well-being has never been clearer. Through the dedication of our participants, parents, sponsors like Mike Tyson Cares, and the collective efforts of our team, we’re fostering a healthier, more resilient generation. We invite you to join us on this journey of empowerment and transformation. Let’s continue working together to uplift our community and inspire positive change. Stay tuned for more updates and exciting programs from the Heal Los Angeles Foundation!

Looking to Donate to Heal LA?

If you would like to make a donation to Heal Los Angeles Foundation, please note that checks can be mailed to the following address:

The Heal Los Angeles Foundation

C/O John Muto

1621 West 25th Street #125

San Pedro, CA 90732

If you would like to make a donation online, please click on the orange “donate” button on the top right side of this website.

We greatly appreciate your support in helping us further our mission of providing programs that help them pursue their dreams while building fundamental life skills. Thank you for your generosity!