Free fitness classes in downtown Flint aim to improve community health

FLINT, MI — Harambee Wellness is making an effort to make fitness accessible, affordable and fun in downtown Flint.

Personal trainer and fitness instructor Marquita Adams teaches free outdoor workouts from 6-7 p.m. Wednesdays in Brush Park in downtown Flint.

The workout series, Get Fit in Flint, is run by Adams’ business Harambee Wellness with sponsorship from the What’s Up Downtown Project.

Adams was hosting virtual workouts on Zoom because, for a period of time, gyms were closed due to Gov. Whitmer’s coronavirus orders. But Adams always had an interest in using the space where the “FLINT” letters are located in Brush Park. The circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic pushed her to make the move.

“We’re able to offer these classes free to the community and that was the best part because I want to make fitness accessible,” Adams said.

The fitness instructor added accessibility, time and cost are the top three reasons some people don’t exercise. Adams says it’s based on national data and personal information she gathered.

“I wanted it to be impactful – literally ‘Get Fit In Flint,’” Adams said of the title of the workout series. “Because that’s what I want my community to do, get fit, get healthy, especially knowing that Flint and Genesee County, knowing the statistics for the health disparities and how the minority community is more susceptible to disease even before COVID.”

Adams said she developed the workouts to be more fun and less daunting with a live DJ, who plays a mix of R&B, old school hip hop and more. The workouts are a mashup of cardio, high-intensity interval training and body weight conditioning. The workouts don’t require any weights.

The classes adhere to social distancing rules with cones and are suitable for all levels of fitness, Adams said.

Classes have been in session since August and Adams is working to figure out how to continue the classes as colder weather approaches.

In addition to teaching classes, Adams also hosts events such as the free Healthy and Active Kids day. It’s an outdoor initiative with fitness demos and presenters. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Berston Field House, 3300 Saginaw St.

Those interested in the Healthy and Active Kids day event or the classes can visit here for more information and to register.

“I want to make sure that everyone that shows up sees an experience that leaves them wanting more,” Adams said.

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