New ShelbyCares program to offer free workout classes at locally-owned, neighborhood gyms

What’s happening: Shelby County’s community health initiative ShelbyCares intends to, as the organization itself puts it, “make Shelby County one of the healthiest places on Earth.” Their latest effort in achieving just that launches on Monday, Jan. 29, a new program that offers free workout classes at locally-owned neighborhood gyms, available to all Shelby County residents aged 16 years and older.

What it is: Identified as “ShelbyCares Neighborhood Health Clubs,” the participating gyms will offer 50-minute group fitness classes at no cost to Shelby County residents. The classes are beginner-friendly and appropriate for all ages, 16-years-old and up. Classes are scheduled at various times and days throughout the week, depending on each gym’s own offerings.

Who’s behind it: ShelbyCares is a collaboration between the Shelby County Mayor’s Office of Innovation and UT Health Science Center’s College of Medicine.

Why it’s important: “Turning the tide on generations of poor health is no easy feat, and I commend the neighborhood gyms who have committed to help us expand access to great health,” reads a statement from Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “Our Neighborhood Health Clubs have pledged to deliver patient, supportive, and free fitness training for as many residents as they can serve. This is the type of collaboration that moves the needle. I look forward to meeting many more of our residents in the gym.”

Who’s on board: While this is a list that is expected to change and grow over time, neighborhood gyms currently offering free classes include Binghampton’s Kenetix Performance & Fitness, Cordova’s Body by Daavon, East Memphis’ Hot Yoga Plus, Midtown’s HIGHER, and Whitehaven’s TrayneFit.

Visit ShelbyCares online for an active listing of workout classes free and open to the community.

What they’re saying: “Our gym is located in the heart of our community and our doors are literally always open,” says Lauren Lee, Owner of HIGHER in Midtown. “Now, we’re a Neighborhood Health Club where anyone can come and learn how to move their bodies, discover their strength, or meet friends on a similar health journey. I hope this program continues to grow, and I’m happy that our medical industry and government are including access to physical fitness when they think about equitable access to healthcare.”

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.