About the Initiative
Shape Up NYC is a free citywide fitness program offered by NYC Service, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, and Equinox Fitness Clubs, that aims to reduce health inequalities across New York City by targeting classes in high-need neighborhoods such as the South Bronx, Central Harlem, and North and Central Brooklyn. Shape Up NYC offers fitness classes to hundreds of New Yorkers at City recreation centers, public schools, and select hospitals and NYCHA facilities . Classes are offered as a way of engaging New Yorkers of all ages in regular exercise, through a variety of courses such as aerobics, yoga, and martial arts. Over 2,000 New Yorkers participate in Shape Up classes every week.
In 2011, 68% of participants lost weight and experienced improved health benefits. 76% of participants reported an increase in energy. “Since joining Shape Up, I have much more energy. I used to tire easily, now I have stamina and endurance. I love it!” - Shape Up NYC Participant
Shape Up NYC Fitness Instructor Training Program
In early October, over 400 applications were received for the first cohort of the Fitness Instructor Training program. Upon completion of the 10-week program, participants begin a six month Shape Up NYC internship, leading one weekly class as a volunteer. After the internship, participants will receive a certificate of completion, and will be qualified for future positions with Shape Up NYC or other Parks programs, and have both the classroom training and the practical skills to successfully attain a nationally accredited certification.
100 individuals completed the training program and began teaching their classes in January and February. In addition to impacting existing Shape Up NYC classes, this winter new instructors are leading 66 new classes across 50 new sites that will bring 4,500 additional visitors to Shape Up classes around the city.