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New Yorkers take free fitness classes to work on their New Year's resolutions

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 16, 2020 - Duration: 02:32s

New Yorkers take free fitness classes to work on their New Year's resolutions

The city's free fitness program, Shape Up NYC, helps New Yorkers turn their New Year's resolutions into a lifestyle.

Roselle Chen narrates.

Aleksandra Michalska produces, shoots and reports.

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New Yorkers take free fitness classes to work on their New Year's resolutions

On a recent Tuesday morning, Jennifer Delsol made sure she got to her free Shape Up NYC fitness class at the New Settlement Community Center in the Bronx on time.

(SOUNDBITE) SHAPE UP NYC CLASS PARTICIPANT, BRONX RESIDENT, JENNIFER DELSOL, SAYING: "You cross the streets with, you know, the red lights.

You... You, probably, swear, 'Get out of my way.

I'm going to my dance class.'

It's so fantastic." A few years ago, Delsol made a New Year's resolution to improve her health by exercising after a cancer diagnosis.

Now, cancer-free, she sees every New Year is an opportunity to renew that vow.

(SOUNDBITE) SHAPE UP NYC CLASS PARTICIPANT, BRONX RESIDENT, JENNIFER DELSOL, SAYING: "For me, it's not just the resolution, it's a way of life.

This has helped me.

Oh, my God... get the muscles back in my in my right breast.

It's helped me to stay a healthy weight.

It's a community.

I meet people here.

You know, I've been friends with people here." Turning resolutions into a way of life could be the key to keeping them.

A study from Strava, the social network for athletes, showed that most people give up on their New Year's resolution on January 19th, which Strava calls the "Quitter's Day." But quitters didn't seem to show up for the Shape Up class.

Bronx resident, Consuela Dolosa: (SOUNDBITE) SHAPE UP NYC CLASS PARTICIPANT, BRONX RESIDENT, CONSUELA DOLOSA, SAYING: "I have a panic disorder, too.

When the people have a panic disorder, you feel safe only in your house, ok?

For me, to come here, it's a push to come here.

I come every Tuesday.

Never... Oh, my English..." (SOUNDBITE) SHAPE UP NYC CLASS PARTICIPANT, BRONX RESIDENT, SULINA VINICIO, SAYING: "Never missing a class." (SOUNDBITE) SHAPE UP NYC CLASS PARTICIPANT, BRONX RESIDENT, CONSUELA DOLOSA, SAYING: "Never missing a class.

I come every Tuesday." The free Shape Up classes are run by the New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation across all the boroughs.

The department's director of fitness, Kendra Van Horn: (SOUNDBITE) NEW YORK CITY'S DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATIONS, DIRECTOR OF CITYWIDE FITNESS, KENDRA VAN HORN, SAYING: "It's all about removing the barriers so people can come.

They don't have to worry about paying.

They can find a place in their neighborhood that's convenient.

So, it saves them some time, and they may not feel comfortable going to a gym, but they can come to a community center or a library.

So, it's all about making fitness really approachable and really easy for people." And many of them ask for help with extra pounds after holidays, said Shape Up instructor, Alba Mota.

(SOUNDBITE) SHAPE UP NYC GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR, ALBA MOTA, SAYING: "You know, some of them are like, "You know, over the holidays, I eat too much, and I gained some pounds.

I gained 10 pounds, 15 pounds.

And, here, I make them sweat.

Like, here we're gonna be sweating.

You're gonna be shedding those pounds within a month, you'll see.

You're gonna see yourself already the way you were or even better." And it works.

According to a city's study, almost 60 percent of Shape Up classes participants said the program helped them lose weight.

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