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Thomas Jefferson Park

NEW BILINGUAL FITNESS SERIES GIVES SPANISH SPEAKERS ACCESS TO FREE FITNESS CLASSES THROUGH SHAPE UP NYC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, September 24, 2016
No. 89
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

Saturday, September 24, 2016 -- NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Vice President for NY Planning and Operations Amadou Yattassaye, to kick off a new series of free bilingual (Spanish/English) fitness classes presented throughout New York City parks by Shape Up NYC with the support of Mayor de Blasio’s Building Healthy Communities initiative. At the event, community members participated in a “Fitness Fiesta” with exercise classes led in both Spanish and English, and enjoyed healthy refreshments and special raffles.

“Para vivir bien, hay que mantener buena salud / To live well, you have to maintain good health,” said Commissioner Silver. “Today, we are breaking down barriers to ensure that even more New Yorkers have access to exciting fitness opportunities by presenting a free bilingual Shape Up NYC series that will be led in both Spanish and English. Not only will this expand access to fitness, but it will also help New Yorkers cross language barriers to come together as a community.”

Starting this fall, Shape Up NYC will host more than 20 bilingual fitness classes throughout the city, including aerobics, dance fitness and boot camp. This is the latest in the program’s efforts to broaden outreach and offer all New Yorkers the opportunity to get healthy and connect with their communities. In addition to language access, Shape Up NYC has taken free fitness beyond parks, by offering programs at over 150 locations including housing and health facilities, schools, libraries and community centers. No membership or pre-registration is required to join.

Shape Up NYC is led by NYC Parks in partnership Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and NYC Service. In the past five years, Shape Up NYC has had more than 600,000 visits to more than 40,000 classes. Shape Up NYC now offers nearly 300 classes per week.

Shape Up NYC is also an integral part of Building Healthy Communities, a public-private partnership committed to improving community health outcomes in 12 of NYC’s most underserved neighborhoods by: improving opportunities for physical activity; increasing access to nutritious and affordable food; and promoting public safety. Led by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and the Fund for Public Health in New York, Building Healthy Communities is facilitating collaboration among 10 city agencies to help expand existing health initiatives, like Shape Up NYC, and develop new programming that can impact the wellbeing of all of its target neighborhoods. For more information on Building Healthy Communities, visit: nyc.gov/healthycommunities.

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