Steal this idea, Worcester! Get MOVING!

By Rosalie Tirella

You gotta love Boston Mayor Tom Menino. He’s a big picture guy and a little picture guy. You go to the waterfront to the old Harbor Lights (I refuse to write this great venue’s newer name) to listen to a rock band and are wowed by the new Institute of Contemporary Art and all the new restaurants and development. And all the accompanying new, pretty, monied people … Then you have Menino projects like FITNESS IN THE CITY, free exercise classes offered in the summer, outdoors in city parks, courtesy of the City of Boston. Geared for folks in Beantown’s inner city, part of the Boston Moves for Health initiative, people grab their shorts and tees and yoga mats and water bottles and head to various neighborhood parks for 40 or 30 minutes of exercise, stretching, mindful breathing. Cool.

Now why can’t Worcester steal this great Boston idea? In its second year, the Boston program offers these boot camp slimnastics type classes for adults throughout Boston’s public spaces. Especially in the city’s minority neighborhoods, places like Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood where the obesity rate is higher than the city’s rate. You can take a Boston exercise class in the morning, during your lunch break – usually at times when people like to pig out!

Genius! Instead of spending city or federal money on research, studies, marketing crap, public relations garbage, Menino saw what he had, an overweight city, especially in its poorer hoods and decided to GET MOVING, DO SOMETHING about a very concrete problem. Exercise class enrollment can be expensive, people sometimes let gym memberships lapse. Why not give city funds to exercise and yoga gurus to get down to the nitty gritty and just get the populace moving. Exercise, even hour long walks, makes you feel HAPPY, and decreases your appetite, and gets you looking better. Menino is making this happen for hundreds of inner city folks. Couple the exercise programs with inner city farmer’s markets and voila! You have a healthier, happier, safer city.

It’s all part of Menino’s big picture – making regular Bostonians healthier.

So, City of Woo health department, instead of pushing another pr report out there telling us what we all can see, use grant money or other funds to hire some fitness teachers for the summer, get them out to Crompton Park, Greenwood Park, Crystal Park, Elm Park and get inner-city Worcester moving!

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