(NPR)  A nonprofit gym in the Boston area is helping low-income communities get the exercise they need.  Because fear of crime and traffic prevents people from exercising outside, Healthworks provides a way to prevent obesity and promote healthy living.  The gym is for women only, and it has already drastically improved lives.  Tamica Toney, 36, said that before joining Healthworks, she “was obese.”  “I was 252 pounds,” she said.  “No health problems, thank God for that. No sugar, no diabetes, no high cholesterol. But that was not healthy because eventually those problems would have came on. Now I am a total of 170 even.”  Ms. Toney, who was never a runner before, now runs three miles a day.  Members pay no more than $30 per month, and membership fees are based on salaries.  People like 51-year-old Mary Shaw, who lost her job cleaning Amtrak trains, can afford a healthy lifestyle without worrying about crime-ridden streets; she pays only $10 a month.  Bill Walczak helped establish the gym by raising funds through his work as CEO of the Codman Square Health Center.  The gym is funded by five for-profit Healthworks gyms in the area .

(BBC)  Hubert Ballaman, a Swiss aid worker who was kidnapped in Chad 10 days ago, has now been released and is in good health, authorities say.  Prime Minister Emmanuel Nadingar said, “At the moment, the freed hostage and his abductors are in the hands of the forces of defence and security in the east of the country.”

Advertisements