U.S. News and World Report recently named Alabama as the second most obese state in the nation. It has an obesity rate of 31.2 percent listing it as one of the top 10 most physically inactive states. Oakwood University Alumnus Tyrel Thomas isn’t taking this information lightly. He and few friends have taken seriously this health prognosis of the state and have decided to begin close to home to try to make changes.
Every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6:00-7:00 p.m., Tyrel Thomas and Eric Ramey lead out in circuit training classes right on Oakwood’s campus to try to help students, faculty and staff understand how they can help Alabama get out of its #2 ranking. “Our classes are centered around metabolic circuit training which includes cardio and calisthenics,” said Thomas, who graduated from Oakwood University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-physical therapy.
Approximately 50 people participate in Thomas and Ramey’s twice-a-week class. “We were happy that one of our own decided to come back and give of himself though this fitness class,” said Raymond King, director of student activities at Oakwood University.
Ed Paul-Saint, a senior theology major at Oakwood, has seen a definite change since he has been taking the class. When Paul-Saint began the class he weighed in at 245 pounds. He now weighs 227 and has also noticed that his energy level has increased.
Both Thomas and Ramey are Action Certified Trainers and are currently taking online classes at Vanderbilt University dealing with nutrition. “In our fitness classes, we also make sure that the participants understand that its not just about exercising, its also about making sure you are putting the right things in your body,” said Ramey, a Huntsville resident.
About Oakwood University
Oakwood University, located in Huntsville, Ala., is a historically Black Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher learning. We provide quality Christian education that emphasizes academic excellence; promotes harmonious development of mind, body, and spirit; and prepares leaders in service for God and humanity.