Alex Schmidt


In Fitness Deserts, Working Out Isn't as Simple as Hitting the Gym

Fitness deserts pose health challenges to millions of Americans, mostly low-income ones.

Four times a week, Kaleena Welch risks her life for a workout. She walks down the shoulder of La Brea Boulevard in South Los Angeles, where the speed limit is 45 mph and cars usually go closer to 60. When she comes to one blind curve in the road, she waits for a lull in traffic, then steps into the road.

“I have to run and jump and then the trail starts again,” she says. “It’s ridiculous. I just hope and pray.”

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