The Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) launched the 2019 Boston Parks Summer Fitness Series sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield with a kick-off event on May 30. The four-month-long series will offer 30 free classes per week from June 3 to September 28 in 19 neighborhoods across the city. Additional support is provided by KIND Snacks and Polar Beverages.
The official launch took place in Copley Square with free Zumba and Qigong classes. The event introduced all that the series has to offer Bostonians this summer including yoga, walking group, Tai Chi, Carnival Fit, strength training, Salsa dancing, family fitness, Cardio Dance, and Afrobeat Bootcamp with new classes featuring POUND Fitness and Qigong. The program is tailored to the interests of residents and participants, including age-friendly classes for kids and older adults as well as those new to fitness classes.
“We are proud to partner with the Boston Public Health Commission and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department on the Parks Summer Fitness Series again this year,” said Jeff Bellows, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts vice president of corporate citizenship and public affairs. “This series puts a spotlight on the abundance of public green spaces in Boston, while reminding us all that we can enjoy our city’s parks and safely exercise outside. Participants will learn the value of exercising outdoors, helping to build healthy habits that extend year-round.”
According to research conducted and analyzed by the Boston Public Health Commission, in 2017, 25 percent of adult residents and 15 percent of public high school students were obese. These rates were even higher among communities of color where 37 percent of black adults and 34 percent of Latino adults were obese, compared to 18 percent of white adult residents. Only 16 percent of Boston adult residents reported to exercise regularly.
By engaging in a citywide effort to increase opportunities for physical activity, BPHC and the Parks Department aim to further reduce barriers to active living and achieve the goal of ensuring that Bostonians have ample opportunities to be active. For a full schedule please visit bphc.org/summerfitness. For updates, follow @HealthyBoston and @BostonParksDept on Twitter, or call (617) 534-2355.