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New Year's Fitness Challenge Greets New Yorkers

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The NYC Parks Department is offering free fitness classes this January.

The parks department is calling the challenge "New Year, New You"—it includes classes in yoga, pilates, kickboxing, cardio dance, and aerobics, among others.

Classes are being taught by trainers from Equinox gyms who are donating their time to instruct residents throughout the five boroughs.

The challenge is part of a citywide program called "Shape-Up NYC." Parks Department assistant commissioner for public programs Annika Holder said the free classes will especially target New Yorkers who live in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity.

The challenge begins with trainers taking body measurements of participants. Once the twelve weeks come to an end, the same measurements will be taken to show any improvements.

Holder said "Whether it's about just being motivated to get moving, or being ready to try something new, we are encouraging people to get out and to really start thinking about their health." Residents who make the most improvements will be rewarded with prizes at the end of the challenge.

The Parks Department also plans to launch an organized walks program in April throughout the city.