City Expands Free Fitness Program
The city is expanding a fitness program designed to keep adult New Yorkers, more than half of whom are obese, from continuing to expand their waistlines. NY1 Health & Fitness reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
The city is relaunching its "Shape Up NYC" program, now offering free fitness classes each week at 42 different public locations around the five boroughs.
Parks and Recreation officials say a partnership with Equinox Fitness Clubs, whose instructors are running the classes, is allowing them to expand the program where now they'll be able to reach out to as many as 7,000 adult New Yorkers year round.
“We've seen tremendous results with our Shape Up program,” said NYC Parks and Recreation Deputy Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey. “We've seen individuals who've lost 30, 40, in one case I know of a gentleman who lost 60 pounds. We know that on an individual level the program works. We think this scale of the program, this additional size, is really going to allow us to attract in a big way the effectiveness of the program.”
The program got things pumping this week with Equinox instructor Patricia Moreno, who at six months pregnant got a whole group sweating with her "IntenSati" class. The cardio routine includes martial arts moves and reciting personal affirmations of empowerment to take you through the workout.
Even "Pearl the Squirrel", the Parks Department's new mascot got in on the action. But those behind the program, certainly aren't squirreling around on the impact more fitness programming can have on New Yorkers.
“Being fit is something that can really change your life totally and completely,” Moreno said. “So being a part of it, to bring it out to people who don't normally get this quality of fitness and this professionalism and enthusiasm and love it, I think it makes a huge difference in the community, because they see just the love and the joy that we have for it and that's what makes people stick with it in the long run.”
In addition to Moreno's "IntenSati" class through the partnership with Equinox, the Shape Up program offers classes from yoga to kickboxing.
New Yorkers participating in the program say they can see the benefit in all that variety.
“People that do want to lose weight, now they have places to go and things to look into and for people that don't have the money, they are free,” said participant Derek Reid.
To find out where you can take advantage of free Shape Up NYC classes, call 311 or go to nyc.gov/parks.