The Electric Slide and the Cha Cha Slide have kept members of the Brooklyn Community Health and Fitness Program, footloose and fit, dancing their way to good health for the last 14 years.
One hundred and twenty middle-aged, and senior citizens as well as a two-year old who recently joined the group to workout with her grandfather, are staying healthy as part of their daily 6:30 am Monday to Friday exercise routine conducted by fitness experts Mr. Griffith and Mr. Eyon.
Dr. Janice Emanuel Bunn, president of the APC Community Services, a 501 C 3 not-for-profit, community-based organization in Brooklyn- responsible for the first Annual Caribbean Wellness Day said she participates in the Monday to Friday, hour and a half Soca aerobics for the cardio vascular health benefit that the program offers.
The program, which began in May 2001 with funding from Assemblyman Nick Perry through an initiative of the Sesame Flyers International community based group to keep the citizens physically fit, helps the group to keep up healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and good cholesterol levels.
Guyanese-born Dr. Bunn said all members testify that they benefit from the program and that the consistency of attendance is indicative of this, she said.
“There is an open membership, anyone in the community can join the group that participates in other activities every year as part of a demonstration workout at the Caribbean Wellness Day and fun day for residents. The reward is community residents supporting each other,” she added.
The citizens who groove to Soca beat, keep a healthy body weight, and have surpassed and exceeded their goals, noted instructor Griffith who wants the group to continue their unity in helping each other to meet their health goals.
Eighty-two-year-old Alfred Quashie, the oldest participant, who suffers from severe back pains, praised the exercise regimen that he said makes him feel better everyday. He plans to continue with the class that he adds has a great atmosphere of friends who look out for each other, while Olive Seal is enjoying the friendliness of her fellow workout buddies.
“I like this group and I come out regularly to exercise because the program keeps me fit and healthy,” said Eleanor Bushell, one of the first participants. “I would like to see more people come out and benefit from this program,” she said.
All are invited to join the program which is conducted at the Paerdegat Park at the corner of Albany and Foster avenues in Brooklyn.