Cycling behind bars: female prisoners fight weight gain.

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Cycling behind bars: female prisoners fight weight gain.

The gym at the riverside correctional facility in Philadelphia is through metal detectors, two heavy doors and halls.

There is a basketball court, like the basketball court you can see at any high school, except for a disciplinary guard near the three-point line.

Sixteen stationary bikes have been set up around the corner. On the second bicycle, Lakiesha Montgomery, 32, from Philadelphia, was quickly stepping on Nicki Minaj’s song “Fly.”

“I don’t think I can keep up with it,” she said. “I’m not the thinnest thing.

But she’s keeping up.

In 2011, the nonprofit group Gearing Up bike advocates convinced prison officials to bring bikes to their bikes. Before that, Kristin Gavin, the founder, pointed out that she had directed criminals in the community.

She said: ‘I went over and over again to say,’ when I was incarcerated, I was 60 pounds and I was 70 pounds. ‘ Then she would ask how long they had been in prison, and she said they would usually answer “six months.”

In riverside, Montgomery spent most of the time in prison, but there wasn’t much exercise.

“Outside is not a real outside, like a mini car, they have a basketball court, but I don’t play basketball, many people come out, so you don’t have room to jog or walk. It’s like you’re sitting down just to get some air, “she said.

She has tattoos on her arms and freckles on her nose. Her hair was twisted into a ball. She also has high cholesterol.

Montgomery was indicted this year, including other charges, and has been in county jail for about six months.

“For the first time,” she said. In the meantime, the rotation course is something to do.

“Don’t lock it up,” Montgomery said. “it can help you get through it.”

In 2012, the justice department investigated the health of state and federal prisoners, and found that women were more likely to be obese than men.

A study of prison health in Kentucky found that women gained more weight than men. The average woman added nearly 11 pounds, while men gained only 2.5 pounds.

Speed up collaboration with temple university researchers to track the weight and body image of women at binjiang correctional center. The study was only eight weeks old and small, but they have found small improvements in resting and restoring heart rate – two preliminary measures of heart health.

Gawain often says that women don’t gain weight in the first place, and they find other reasons to keep coming back.

“What can I said to myself – if I didn’t have a chance to sports activities, I might be a little crazy, I may not be able to control their emotions, temper, anger, anger I think for many women in the prison, management is a huge problem, they have been the victims of trauma and abuse,” said.

Of course some women hurt others.

Exercise can be a way of releasing emotions.

Gear Erica Tibbetts often leads the rotation class.

Tibbetts is in bicycle shorts. Everyone else is in prison blues: pants and a white T-shirt.

“The worst thing is that women don’t have good sports bras here,” she said.

No one has a water bottle. Sports shorts are not allowed. In any case, Tibbetts says, women come to class and work with them.

Climb a bike, even if you don’t go anywhere, feel free.

At the beginning of the class, the women shouted out their intentions one by one. Rituals are called “cleanup”.

Christina wants to leave. Gene wants to forget “cough and squat”.

Mr Shaikh left “the wrong mistake”.

Others want to get rid of past stress and depression.

In a 2010 survey, Riverside women added an average of 36 pounds a year. But after some changes, the medical team gained 26 pounds in 2015.

‘weight gain is a problem, but it’s not the most pressing health issue that his team manages,’ said Bruce Herdman, head of prison medical practice.

“Chlamydial infection rate – 6.6% on admission, we will treat one thousand cases of people infected with HIV, mainly because of intravenous drug use, the c rate is 13%, then the high blood pressure, diabetes, all normal. He said.

The prison pays three times a week for revolving courses. There are occasional yoga classes, but the big change that affects women’s weight is food. These meals are certified by dietitians with heart health. There are many, but now some are smaller. Last year, prison reduced calories from nearly 2,900 people a day to 2,500.

This helps, but the meals provided by the facilities are not the only food. Prisoners can also buy buffets from prison food. One favorite is called chi-chis.

Amanda Cortes explains: “this is where ramen and cheese puffs mix. “You put it in hot water, you put the meat inside, you can put the honey mustard or the ranch on top, and you mix it up in the potato chip bag, and it’s really nice.

Cortez has been in prison for five years, most of the time. She faces several charges, including involuntary manslaughter, and is awaiting court dates. She says many women deal with boredom and depression with food.

“Some people get two or three pallets, so they get fat and they get all their bread in their room,” said cortez.

So the cortez cycle was to maintain weight, and one day her 10-year-old son noticed.

“When he first saw me, he was like” mom, you lost weight! “So I’m excited,” she said, smiling.

In one year, three times a week, cortes dropped 90 pounds.

At the end of the refueling session, there is one last ritual before the goodbye and the sweat stream.

The women Shared what they had brought back from the ride.

One woman said she was “bringing back sex”. She and everyone around her had a wish: “I’m Jean, I’m bringing back a bikini, I’m Ruth, and I’m bringing back confidence and confidence.

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