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Get Healthy on the Railroad marks 10th year 


2020 marks 10 years for Get Healthy on the Railroad, the series of free exercise and cooking classes sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, which returns to Railroad Park this spring.

Exercise classes began March 9, and cooking classes will take place the last Sunday of the month, May through September. Exercise classes are designed to meet varied fitness levels and preferences. Cooking and nutrition classes resume in late spring, with healthy, delicious recipes using fresh, local ingredients. All classes are led by expert instructors and are free to all participants.

On Tuesday, April 28, Railroad Park will host a Senior Fit Health Fair. This community event will feature exercise demonstrations, free blood pressure screenings, free healthy snacks and drawings for prizes. Like the entire Get Healthy class schedule, the Senior Fit Health Fair is free and open to the public.

Get Healthy’s evening exercise classes take place Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. through October 30. The complete evening lineup includes Hip Hop Cardio, Boot camp, Zumba, yoga, and Family Fun Friday. Senior Fit classes will be each Tuesday at 8 a.m., May 5 through the end of October. Complete class descriptions below.

Get Healthy cooking classes begin May 31, with a different class taking place the last Sunday of the month through September. Chefs will present cooking demonstrations and food tastings for tasty seasonal recipes. The first 100 attendees to sign in receive a parcel of free produce sourced through Piggly Wiggly, with the chance to replicate the day’s recipe at home. Cooking classes take place on the Regions Bank 17th St. Plaza. 

“Railroad Park opened in September 2010, and we launched Get Healthy soon after,” said Camille Spratling, executive director, Railroad Park Foundation. “In this milestone anniversary year, we’ve considered the programs that have had the greatest impact on our visitors. Get Healthy is at the top of that list. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama helped us establish a program that boosts physical and mental health, basically of anyone over the age of six who wants to participate.

“I can’t think of another program in the region that serves as wide a portion of the population. It’s completely accessible, in that it’s free to participate and it’s designed to serve all ability levels and exercise tastes. From the early days, this program took us from being a beautiful, unifying element for the city to being an active greenspace that serves thousands of people throughout the community.” 

The 2020 Get Healthy Line-up: 

Senior Fit (Tuesdays, 8 a.m., May through October) These low impact workouts are tailored to the fitness levels of the participants. Senior Fit implements four categories of activity that the NIH states offer seniors the most health benefits: flexibility, endurance, balance, and strength. The group exercise setting also provides a social opportunity designed to benefit mental and emotional well-being. 

Hip Hop Cardio (Mondays, 6 p.m.) This high-endurance exercise class features fun, hip hop inspired choreography. It boosts cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility and dance floor moves. 

Bootcamp (Tuesdays, 6 p.m.) Designed to keep workouts challenging and fun, this class tones muscles, builds endurance, and boosts metabolism. The high gear, heart pumping interval workouts leave participants feeling stress-free and motivated, with metabolism increased for 12-16 hours afterward.

Zumba (Wednesdays, 6 p.m.) Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance fitness class that blends basic dance moves with aerobic steps. Zumba is fun, energizing, and easy to follow.

 Yoga (Thursdays, 6 p.m.) Yoga strengthens and tones the body, promoting balance and flexibility while quieting the mind. This inclusive class is structured for participants at all experience levels. 

Family Fun Friday (Friday, 6 p.m.) This class invites collaboration and a little friendly competition with team activities like kickball, soccer, and whiffle ball. A new game each week keeps it interesting, with low to high impact games promoting exercise, mental health and fun.

 All experience levels are welcome. Participants in Get Healthy exercise classes arrive 15 minutes early to sign in. Classes take place at various locations throughout the park, weather permitting. Necessary cancellations are announced on Railroad Park’s social media channels.

Railroad Park is a 19-acre green space in the heart of Birmingham. With more than 600 trees, thousands of plants and a two-acre lake, Railroad Park is an oasis in the center of a bustling urban environment. 

For more information visit railroadpark.org