The city announces an expansion of free fitness classes across the five boroughs, targeting obesity especially in poorer neighborhoods.
Getting in shape just got a little easier in the South Bronx.
This recreation center in Saint Mary's Park is offering two more free fitness classes a week, under an expansion of the Shape Up NYC program.
"That's wonderful," said retiree Ramona Modesto. "I got no money to pay"
Modesto now has a choice of ten classes a week here. For her it's not just about exercise.
"I'm alone, so I come here you know I got this bunch of people to talk and to socialize," she said.
Shape Up NYC is offering 100 more free weekly classes for a total of 370 across the five boroughs.
The city's First Lady joined a class for the announcement.
"Exercise is good for your mental health," said Chirlane McCray. "It's good for your physical health. That's why the de Blasio administration is committed to providing all New Yorkers with the support they need to keep their mind and their body in shape."
"I'm pleased to be here in the South Bronx to announce this largest expansion of free fitness classes in the story of the Shape Up NYC program," Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mitchell Silver.
The Bloomberg administration began Shape Up NYC at 42 sites in 2010 — gradually growing to 170 locations and now with this expansion to about 200.
The program targets communities with the highest obesity rates.
The classes range from dance to yoga and from weights to Pilates. Some are for families and others are chair-based for people with disabilities.
Participating has Ramona Modesto feeling like she might not ever need to go to a hospital. At 65, she says teens won't be able to keep up with her.
"I challenge a lot of girls 15 years old," the retiree said.
The budget for the Shape up NYC is a little less than $600,000 per year. Blue Cross Blue Shield picks up more than half the tab.
There is a marketing component so expect to see and hear more about it.