Like many communities across the country, Union City is battling childhood obesity. Many adults are struggling with health concerns stemming from their weight, as well.
Heidi Oatis, a former personal trainer, has decided to address these issues by offering fitness classes for the entire family. The classes began two weeks ago, though the grand opening of her studio — Dans' di Ballo' — will be held on June 2. [Ed.'s note: Heidi Oatis advertises her classes with Patch.com.]
"The classes offer bonding time for kids and parents ... It's a time for families to learn about fitness together," Oatis said.
Many of the exercises in Oatis's classes are borrowed from a range of cultural traditions, in an effort to celebrate Union City's diversity.
"I want to try to represent all of the cultures we see in Union City," Oatis said.
The classes teach everything from Zumba to yoga. While they are structured to be appropriate for children and parents, they are rigorous, Oatis said. The classes also include practical nutrition instruction with the goal of teaching students how to conveniently lead a healthy lifestyle.
Oatis designs prosthetics for burn and cancer patients, as well, and her work has encouraged her to offer private fitness classes for patients and others who may feel uncomfortable exercising in a group.
Fitness, Oatis believes, can be used as a tool to support the local community. Oatis frequently holds fitness marathons, like her "Zumbathons," to raise money for Union City schools and other local organizations.
The classes are reasonably affordable, as well. The first class is free, and all subsequent classes cost five dollars.
"I want people to be able to afford to come back two times a week. It's about more than money for me — it's about getting the community healthy," Oatis said.
All fitness classes are held at Dans' di Ballo' dance studio in Union City at 29300 Kohoutek Way, suite 170. For more info, call 510-304-1817 or email ZumbawithHeidi@yahoo.com.