Last summer rumors about a new bilingual health and fitness app for Latinas echoed throughout the Hood River community, and Leti Valle was intrigued by the culturally tailored spin on a technology she knew well. Leti was invited to join a select focus group that used the prototype for two hours. Though interested to learn more, what Leti didn’t expect was to leave the room with renewed inspiration to take better care of herself — and her mother and son. Trying to Make Time for Health in a Busy Life With a lifelong interest in being active, Leti squeezed in time to take care of herself as best as she could. While there were still a few pounds she wanted to lose, Leti continually chased a balanced lifestyle. She set goals to drink more water, build muscle tone, stretch more and sleep at least 6-8 hours a night. Although Leti enjoyed these things—and knew they would help relieve some of her stress—finding time was the real obstacle.
“I’m 33 now and I want to be healthy for my six-year-old son. I want us to be able to keep up with each other. I want to pass those healthy habits onto him and my friends and family.”
Leti turned to popular healthy lifestyle apps to help motivate and organize her time, as well as set and achieve her goals. But Leti craved a more personal experience that went beyond logging every glass of water. To fulfill her journey, she wanted to tap into a deeper cultural connection and a stronger sense of community. A Community that Encourages Latinas to be Healthy While testing the De Las Mías approach to healthy living, Leti was immediately drawn to the app’s encouragement of multigenerational support. She was excited to share this discovery with her community, believing her 55-year-old mom and her friends would enjoy using the app just as much as she did. She recognized that by sharing the journey with friends and family, she would finally have the support needed to reach her goals. Leti saw the De Las Mías community as the missing link in the previous apps she had used. The support system was encouraging for anyone, regardless of age or health, to achieve a happier, healthier life.
“I was excited to find out that there was a health and fitness app that would be easy to use and that women like my mom could learn how to use it. De Las Mias lets you learn about your health, gives you tools you can use, and encourages you to invite your friends and family. I was happy to use an app that my family and I could benefit from.”
Although she had been used to setting goals to improve her health, the brief experience of reviewing the De Las Mías prototype, inspired Leti to get back and try again. It also gave her a reason to have a health conversation with her mom. Attaining a Balanced Lifestyle Through Positive Changes After using the De Las Mías prototype for only two hours, Leti felt that a balanced lifestyle was within reach once again. She started making room in her busy life for positive changes and reached her goal weight. Leti felt encouraged to try new things, and connect with her parents and grandparents through activities they all enjoyed, like walking and horseback riding.
“The app helped me think about what my elders used to do to stay active in the old days. It was less about getting on the treadmill—it was more about spending time outdoors and having fun with family.”
Not only was Leti able to fit into some of her old clothes again, more importantly she improved her sleeping habits and was committed to a regular stress management routine. In the year since Leti first met De Las Mías she and her mother have both stepped into healthier lifestyles and they regularly keep in touch to encourage each other on their journey. They hike and do other activities, and spend more time together. Leti and her mom already know what the most recent research tells us: The best way to do life, especially a healthy life, is with our family and friends. Follow @delasmiaslife to hear more encouraging stories!
Leti is an inspiring force for good in her Hood!