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Monday, 22 February 2016 17:55

City exercise program and motivated employees equal a more fit workforce

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A good fit

Midday at 611 Walker looks like a mass exodus as city employees pack elevators and escalators on their way to meetings and lunch.

But at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Greg Bell doesn’t have lunch on his mind. He steers a cart through 611 Walker that bears a heavy load of colorful exercise balls, mats, steps, resistance bands, barbells and kettle bells.

Bell, a senior public health educator for the Health and Wellness Program, shoulders a weighty responsibility – improving the health of city employees.

His biweekly circuit training fitness classes are doing just that. Two classes of about 30 employees trade their lunch hour for a free workout with a trained fitness expert in the 611 Walker basement.

“We offer more than just a workout class,” Bell said. “We are educating employees about health and wellness and giving them the resources needed to increase their level of success.”

“Everyone is welcome, and there are modifications for every fitness level, but you have to stick to it. We take a progressive approach. Instruction in each class builds on the last one,” Bell said.

Angelique Rodriguez-Wells works in Administration and Regulatory Affairs, and has lost more than 30 pounds while working out in Bell’s class.

“I am so grateful to Greg and the health and wellness team for offering this program,” said Rodriguez-Wells. “This program has truly been a life saver. My quality of life has significantly improved in every way.” 

“I feel healthier, stronger and empowered,” she said. “I really appreciate Greg and the feeling of group inclusiveness he created among myself and all my fellow fitness buddies. The reassurance, knowledge and positive energy he brought to each workout session made all the difference. He made me believe in me! He is a blessing.”

A co-worker in ARA, Rosa Wittig, has also made progress toward her fitness goals. She lost 11 pounds despite a minor injury. She said Bell’s nutrition advice helped her reduce food portions and limit carbonated beverages.

“I was able to maintain my weight loss during the holidays and after a hand injury,” Wittig said. “After I returned to work, I slowly worked up my strength in my hand through therapy and by using it during the class. I’m motivated. I want to be stronger and feel healthier, and this has been the first step to getting me back on track to a better me.”

Juana Garfias, of the Houston Airport System, combined her circuit training workouts with cutting out refined sugar, salt and sodas while drinking more water. Those changes helped her lose 30 pounds and four dress sizes.

“I was very reluctant at the beginning but after noticing the results, I pushed harder in Greg’s class,” Garfias said.  “Now I continue with the class and with meal prepping, which has become a huge staple in keeping the weight off and continuing to lose. 

“I have a lot more energy, and I’m excited about working out,” she said. “Greg is great about knowing how to start people off in the right direction regarding fitness and nutrition. I was a little intimidated when I first started with his class, but now I look forward to the next class every time.”

CityFit Classes

611 Walker:
Group Circuit Training - Strength Training Class (Starts July 11)
Monday/Wednesday 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.; 611 Walker Rm. BB127
Registration is required.
Email greg.bell@houstontx.gov before July 15 to register.

30-Minute Stretch Break - Flexibility Class (Starts July 11)
Tuesday/Wednesday Noon - 1 p.m.; 611 Walker Rm. BB102
No registration required. Walk-ins are welcome.

Line Dancing - Cardio Class (Starts July 7)
Tuesday/Thursday 1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.; 611 Walker Rm. BB102
No registration required. Walk-ins are welcome!

8000 N. Stadium Drive, First Floor Conference Room
Group Circuit Traning - Strength Class (Starts July 19)
Tuesdays, 4 p.m.- 4:45 p.m.
Registration is required.
Email greg.bell@houstontx.gov before July 29 to join.

Line Dancing - Cardio Class (Starts July 21)
Thursdays, 4 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
No registration is required

7440 Cullen Blvd, Room 240
30-Minute Stretch Breack - Flexibility Class
Tuesday/Thursday, Noon-12:30 p.m.

1400 Lubbock, Second Floor Training Room
Line Dancing - Cardio Class (Starts July 6)
Monday/Wednesday, Noon- 1 p.m.

Series will run until mid-September.

For questions, contact the Health and Wellness team at wconnection@houstontx.gov.

Read 3118 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 February 2017 16:28