About This Initiative

Shape Up NYC is a free citywide fitness program supported by NYC Service, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, 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 3,000 New Yorkers participate in Shape Up classes every week.  

In 2013, 65% of participants lost weight and experienced improved health benefits. 83% 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

Upon completion of the 10-week training 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.

This winter new instructors are leading 75 new classes across 40 new sites that will bring 3,000 additional visitors to Shape Up classes around the city.


If your organization is interested in hosting free Shape Up NYC classes, please see the fliers in 'Related Docs'.