Program aims to get local residents moving year-round

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) An effort is underway to make those New Year’s resolutions of getting healthier in 2020 achievable for those, primarily in East Waco, who sometimes feel there’s barrier to good health because of money or access to the information and experts.

What started as a summer program aims to get local residents moving year-round. (Courtesy photo)

An initiative called Move East Waco, which offers free workouts and nutritional based classes, will kick off Tuesday and will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays at different times throughout the year.

“It actually started in 2017 when some residents in East Waco were interested in improving their health issues or improving their health overall but could not find affordable places for them to go,” said Jocelyn Williams who is helping spearhead the program.

“This kind of started through that program of just residents kind of standing up and taking a stand for themselves and their health issues.”

Van Davis is a workout enthusiast, educator and coach who has spearheaded the effort from the beginning.

The classes she helps organize and lead include everything from yoga and kickboxing to hip hop aerobics, Tabata and Refit.

At the end of each session, an expert will also be on hand to educate those in attendance on health topics like how to cook healthier or shop healthy on a tight budget.

“We have the best of the best instructors in the community,” Davis said. “The best part is it’s free of charge for six weeks. You can get in better shape by the end of the program.”

Move East Waco has grown from a summer only program to a six-week program, which will be offered throughout the year thanks to an outpouring of community support and grant from the Waco Foundation.

Davis said while all residents of Waco are invited it is East Waco the program is targeting.

“Nationally, 29% of residents are obese but in East Waco the number grows to a staggering 45%.,” Davis said.

“Through Move East Waco not only do we hope to increase the amount of physical activity amongst the residents of East Waco we hope to improve their knowledge of all the factors that affect their wellbeing by educating on health topics. Through these efforts we will lower the high obesity rates and improve the community’s overall health.”

The first free six week program will kick off from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Carver Middle School on JJ Flewellen and continue every Tuesday and Thursday at the same time and place for six weeks.