PreventObesity.net’s Zach Brooks speaks with a Leader every week to get a quick look at why he or she loves working to create healthy environments for kids. Want to take part? Click here to see Zach’s profile and contact him.
This week, Zach chatted with Leader Lisa Morrison, the founder of Infusion Wellness and the creator of the Zenergy® Program. She has been a professional fitness consultant, yoga teacher and entrepreneur for more than 25 years. Lisa founded Infusion Wellness in 2001 with the goal of making wellness more accessible by bringing the benefits of yoga to people of all ages and all walks of life.
Name: Lisa Morrison
Organization: Infusion Wellness
What inspired you to start working on childhood obesity?
From my work with kids over the past 12 years, especially those in at risk neighborhoods, I have observed that childhood obesity, attention deficit and bullying are really symptoms of a greater issue, which is lack of empowerment in our kids. My greatest motivation is to give our kids the tools they need to overcome the obstacles in their lives so they can dream big and reach their true potential.
How are you helping to reverse childhood obesity?
By using the healthy life approach that yoga provides to empower kids. My Zenergy program combines yoga and [the concept of having] superpowers in a way that is energizing and fun so that kids can learn to channel their energy, find flexibility through change, build strength, develop endurance, sharpen their focus and bring balance into their lives.
What’s your biggest accomplishment so far in helping reduce childhood obesity?
Partnering with the amazing Dr. Toni Yancey and her Instant Recess program (featured in last week’s Gimme Five) to help spread the benefits of Zenergy to classrooms around America, 10 minutes at a time. You can view a video about the program here.
Who is your role model in your work?
Oprah Winfrey, who over the course of her life has overcome so many struggles and still was able to remain an independent and strong woman. I aspire in some small way to follow her path, motivating so many people and making an enormous positive impact on their lives.
What game or sport did you play growing up?
We loved to play a game called Release the Den. I grew up in Pittsburgh, and on hot summer nights when it would get dark and the street lights would come on, all the kids in the neighborhood would gather together to play. The game is like hide and go seek with teams. We would run around in the dark for hours — it was a blast! Growing up with five kids in my family we could easily make a team ourselves.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.