PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 2, 2013 – Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ health-improvement journey is blossoming into a bigger opportunity for residents in his 8th Senatorial District to better their lives and shed some pounds.

His third annual “Health Awareness Season” kicked off to a rousing start on Oct. 1.

“The first step in any health improvement journey is to realize you can take the first step. The second step is to actually take the first one,” Williams said. “I have struggled with my weight, but am learning – as I believe people will learn as they move through my ‘Health Awareness Season’ – that shedding inches can happen. It can add years. And it can even be fun.”

Free workshops during the “Health Awareness Season” runs for six weeks at various recreation centers in the district (the schedule is below), and the Urban Art Center. From personal training to line dancing and the “Insanity Challenge,” participants will have fun as they work out and learn how to live healthier, peaceful lives.

The person who loses the most weight will win a one-year, free membership to LA Fitness, 2425 S. 24th St., Philly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Philadelphia County is second in the commonwealth in the number of people with diabetes. The CDC also says about 33 percent of Philadelphia County residents and 25 percent of Delaware County residents are obese.

Across Pennsylvania, 1 in 3 residents live with hypertension. Men’s Fitness magazine has ranked Philly as the 14th most overweight city in the country.

“Living a healthier life is important to living a longer, happier life,” Williams said. “Do it for yourself. Do it for your kids. Do it for your community. Our region won’t get better unless you get better.

“Professionals who understand what it takes to start and continue a healthy life journey will be available every step of the way during this great six-week opportunity, which is free,” he said.

The “Health Awareness Season” started three years ago as a walk along Cobbs Creek. This year it is being presented to the community in partnership with Charles P. Carter Insurance & Retirement Services, Drexel University, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, and LA Fitness.

Yoga, the “Showdown Dance Workout,” and the “Insanity Challenge” are new additions to the season this year, and bring the total number of free classes during the six weeks to 53.

Dwayne Townsend, Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader choreographer, is leading the “Showdown Dance Workout.

“Attend one free class or attend them all,” the senator said. “You won’t spend a dime but you could end up dropping some weight.”


Follow state Sen. Anthony H. Williams via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and his website.

Editors: The full “Health Awareness Season” schedule follows.


Personal Trainer

  • Mondays, 7 p.m.

Sayre Recreation Center, 5835 Spruce St.

Start Date: Oct. 7th


Line Dancing

  • Thursdays, 5:30 p.m.

Eastwick Recreation Center, 80th & Mars Place

Start Date: Oct. 1st



*Registration Required for FREE Yoga Mat

  • Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.

Urban Art Gallery, 262 S. 52nd St.

Start Date: Oct. 2nd



  • Thursdays, 6 p.m.

Kingsessing Recreation Center, 4901 Kingsessing Ave.

Start Date: Oct. 3rd


Showdown Dance Workout (Hip-Hop, Pop, and Zumba)

  • Saturdays at Noon

Chew Recreation Center, 1834 Ellsworth St.

Start Date: Oct.5th


Insanity Challenge

  • Monday through Thursday. 4:30 p.m.

Myers Recreation Center, 5803 Kingsessing Ave.

Start Date: Oct. 1st