A sunny Sept. 27 afternoon was the perfect setting for an outdoor fitness class, and seniors took full advantage of it, by shaking their hips to Soca music as part of a twice weekly wellness series that kicked-off last August to engage the Little Caribbean community.
Humana On Hillel Plaza is a health and fitness initiative, sponsored by the for-profit health insurance Humana, located at the intersection of Flatbush and Nostrand avenues where workout sessions are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
The program supported by Humana and presented by Little Caribbean in partnership with the Flatbush Nostrand Junction BID, attracted commuters, and shoppers, to the infectious music and engaging fitness session.
In a statement to Caribbean Life, Humana’s New York City Director, Carla Brown said, “Our team at Humana, is happy to support the local community and sponsor the terrific well-being series in partnership with Little Caribbean as they share our commitment to improving the health and well-being of the diverse population we serve in Brooklyn.”
The health insurance company added,“Humana’s commitment to the local community continues to grow, and we invite everyone to come and visit our new Humana location in Flatbush. Our team can help you with medical resources, customer service and finding a local doctor and much more.”
The high-energy exercise series, according to founder of CaribBeing organization, Shelley Worrell, is geared towards active seniors, but it also attracts multi-intergenerational participants who benefit from the wellness program. The music, culture, and the vibe of the routine, presented by instructor ‘Michelle’ of the Wukkout fitness club, also draw-in the crowd.
Worrell, said the program that offers free healthy organic fruits, snacks, water, and tea at the completion of every session that provides tremendous benefits to our community “especially to our seniors who also receives wellness services, and free, or affordable healthcare offered by Humana.”
Little Caribbean celebrates five years since it was unveiled at the Flatbush junction on Sept. 27, 2017, by now, Mayor of the City of New York, Eric Adams.
The initiative was spearheaded by CaribBeing organization, to recognize, celebrate and foster the contributions of Caribbean-Americans in New York City and the neighborhood of Flatbush as a center for culture, community, and commerce, that plays a big part in promoting wellness in the community.
Worrell, who is a first generation American, born to Afro and Indo parents from Trinidad & Tobago, credits her studies in media and cultural, for the creative vision of the influential CaribBeing organization, an inclusive hub for creativity featuring artists from Cuba, Guyana, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Martinique, France, and Canada.
She is encouraging everyone to join the free program. “I hope people come out and join us. It is open to the public, said Worrell, who refers to herself as Caribpolitan — a 21st century person with West Indian origin/descent living in diasporic metropolitan communities such as Brooklyn’s Flatbush, South Florida’s Little Haiti/Little Havana, and wherever Caribbean nationals resides.
Michelle said, “partnering with Little Caribbean, Humana, and The Junction Bid to teach Wukkout! has been an absolute joy and bonus to my week. It makes me happy to see everyone smiling and dancing along to the feel-good music. I really love when commuters are walking by and stop to dance, watch, and record the engaging fun!”
“One lady told me after class that she was riding her bike nearby, heard the music, rode over and just joined us instantly! She even came back multiple times afterwards and became a regular face I look forward to seeing. It feels wonderful to interact with the community while spreading joy, dance, and health all at the same time,” said Michelle.
Caribbean Life Impact Award recipient Krista Martins, founder of Wukkout, said “We’ve had an average of 5-10 people since the program began in August. We promote the class via our weekly email newsletter, website (wukkout.com) and our social media channels (@wukkout on IG).
The attendees she said are a mix of long time Wukkout! class participants as well as passersby. The community itself has been incredibly receptive and they look forward to our classes each week. We are glad to be able to continue to partner with Little Caribbean, Humana, and The Flatbush Junction BID on this class series.
Wukkout! has been in business 9 years within person classes held throughout the 5 boroughs and beyond; virtual and on demand classes are also available. We also have a nationally accredited Wukkout! Instructor Training program where we are regularly looking for new instructors, said Martins.
Little Caribbean is home to people, restaurants, and small businesses that come together to share social and cultural histories and futures.
The Flatbush Junction BID represents the voice of property owners and business in the commercial area; working with partners to develop “the Junction” as a better place to work, live, shop and visit.
To learn more, click www.iamcaribbeing.com www.littlecaribbean.nyc