Move Right! Physical Activity Classes
The fitness component of the CPPW initiative sought to increase levels of physical activity through the formation of faith-based physical activity ministries and church-based physical activity programs.
Regular physical activity is essential to good health and can help decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes beyond what weight reduction alone can produce. Physical activity is key to preventing and controlling obesity and it is essential for health at any weight.
Conversely, when people are not physically active or don’t get enough exercise the risk for obesity and obesity related diseases increases. Obesity is a serious issue and each year contributes to an estimated 112,000 preventable deaths.
Barriers to physical activity are often related to the lack of safe, convenient and inexpensive places to be physically active. To address this issue, the Center identified local churches to serve as physical activity sites and partnered with them to start and sustain physical activity programs in their church to include weekly fitness classes for their congregation and the public. Churches have the ability to reach a broad range of people and have facilities conducive to a variety of physical activities (walking tracks, fitness equipment, gyms, rooms for exercise classes).
How it Worked
Participating churches were paired with one of the Center’s four physical activity coordinators. Their role was to assist the churches in getting their physical activity classes off the ground. Twenty-one (21) churches participated in the Physical Activity Program. Each site offered physical activity classes at least once a week. On any given day except Sunday, church and community members could find a physical activity class at one or more participating churches. Classes were free and open to the public.
A variety of activities were available around the city:
- Group Exercise Class
- Aqua Boot Camp
- Upper & Lower Body Exercise Class
- Spinning Class
- Muscle Conditioning
- Walking Clubs were established at churches with indoor track facilities.
In October 2011, the Center promoted Fitness Week inviting even more people to take advantage of a variety of fitness classes held during the week. Over 200 people attended Move Right! Physical Activity Classes that week. Fitness Week culminated in a Fitness Celebration on Saturday, complete with DJ, line dancing, and other fitness activities.
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, January 2010.
 Eat Smart Move More, NC. Move More Walking Map Guide. Retrieved March 7, 2012. www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com/ WalkingMapGuide/ WalkingMapGuide.html