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Positively Upstate: A 'Step Up Moment' at the Schenectady City Mission

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A series of fitness classes at the Schenectady City Mission is bringing not only exercise but hope to those stricken by poverty. It’s called ‘Step Up Moment,’ free classes for locals facing poverty and homelessness. Coach and CEO of Family First Fitness, Guy Waltman, says the 20-minute workout session allow participants to step out of their comfort zone and have some fun.

“When you look to your left and look to your right, it’s just another human being.” He says. “There’s nothing about economic status or formal education. None of that matters. We’re all here just getting a great workout in.”

Shatiki Beatty, a program coordinator, also does the classes. After bariatric surgery 4 years ago she lost 125lbs. She says she’s always amazed at the energy in the room.

“I think being around other people you can relate to … you can relax, and say, this is me. How can we journey together?” Beatty says. “It’s uplifting in and of itself.”

Waltman pushes a holistic approach– explaining to everyone that the pathway to healthy living isn’t just through fitness. It involves eating right and mental awareness.

“So, we come in and have fun with the workout program. But we also talk about positive psychology, nutrition, the whole package.” He says.

An added incentive to this program, funded by the City Mission, is for every completed five sessions participants get a $50 gift card to Walmart to buy healthy groceries.

“Whatever their reason for being here – whether they want to improve their emotional wellbeing, or physical health, lose weight or need money for nutrition, that’s fine. That’s a great reason to come.”

Step Up Moment at the Schenectady City Mission has been going on for about 2 years. It started at the Syracuse Rescue Mission.

To learn more are Family First Fitness, check them out of the web: http://www.familyfirstfitness.com/

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