December 10, 2022

madmenburger

Health for a better future

Eight-week health and fitness challenge kicks off in Garfield Park

Eight-week health and fitness challenge kicks off in Garfield Park

A few West Side residents added something fast and furious to their Monday evening routine this week: a cardio kickboxing class.

The 20 adults are among those taking part in an eight-week health and fitness challenge starting this week in Garfield Park.

Each week includes two fitness classes, a healthy cooking class and a group therapy session. It’s hosted by the Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative, a group of local community groups.

The full program costs $5 for all eight weeks, and all 20 slots already have been filled.

At the start, the 20 participants had several health indicators measured, including blood pressure, blood glucose levels and body circumference.

At the end, they will check their progress — though Seobia Rivers, who runs the program, said it wasn’t a “biggest loser” challenge.

“It’s about healthy living, and that looks different for everybody,” she said.

Instructor Seobia Rivers leads participants in a cardio kickboxing class at the Garfield Fieldhouse for an eight-week health and fitness challenge on the West Side.

Instructor Seobia Rivers leads participants in a cardio kickboxing class at the Garfield Fieldhouse for an eight-week health and fitness challenge on the West Side.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Organizers hope to buck some health trends on the West Side; adults in both East and West Garfield Park experience some of the highest rates of physical inactivity compared to anywhere else in the city, according to the Chicago Health Atlas.

“The main thing about this challenge is, it’s all about Garfield Park and Chicago residents figuring out a way to live healthy lifestyles for them,” Rivers said.

Even those not able to take part in the full program can still participate; the fitness classes are open to the public, and free, though donations to Rite to Wellness are accepted. Classes are held Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. through Nov. 16 at the Garfield Fieldhouse, 100 N. Central Park Ave.

The cooking classes will be held at the Hatchery in Garfield Park and therapy sessions via Zoom.

Participants in an eight-week health and fitness challenge on the West Side follow instructor Seobia Rivers in a cardio kickboxing class at the Garfield Fieldhouse.

Participants in an eight-week health and fitness challenge take part in a cardio kickboxing class at the Garfield Fieldhouse.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

On Mondays, Rivers — co-founder of a nonprofit gym in Pilsen — will alternate between a cardio kickboxing course and a circuit training course; on Wednesdays, certified yoga instructor Jasmin Graham will alternate between yoga and jump-rope cardio classes.

Graham, a West Side native, said many in the community have long had to go to the North Side or Near West Side to take those kinds of classes. When she was getting certified, she couldn’t find any courses close to home.

“For me, born and raised in West Garfield Park, I’ve never known anything specifically geared toward the health and wellness of the community like this.”

Michael Loria is a staff reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster the paper’s coverage of communities on the South and West sides.

Participants in an eight-week health and fitness challenge on the West Side follow instructor Seobia Rivers in a cardio kickboxing class at the Garfield Park Golden Dome Field House.

A cardio kickboxing class at the Garfield Fieldhouse helped kick off an eight-week health and fitness challenge on the West Side. The challenge is organized by the Garfield Park Community Council.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times


https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/2022/9/27/23374646/fitness-challenge-garfield-park-cooking-wellness-exercise