The City and Coca-Cola Are Teaming Up for a Fitness Initiative

'Troops for Fitness' will offer fitness classes led by military veterans.

Did you hear the one about McDonald’s sponsoring a nutritionist convention? Well it happened. Sort of like how Coca-Cola is partnering with cities to promote fitness.

It’s hard to knock a program for trying to get a city physically fit, and, of course, initiating and implementing new programs takes money—funds that cities just don’t have right now. So it makes sense to bring in corporate sponsors. But, it is a bit odd when Big Soda is funding fitness programs. Especially when cities are trying to ban and tax the beverage. Furthermore, the Harvard School of Public Health reports that “rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.”

That said, at least Coca-Cola is using some of its money to fund something good. The fitness program the company is sponsoring,”Troops for Fitness,” will utilize the skills and expertise of local veterans by having them lead fitness classes and programs throughout the city. The veteran lead classes will include boot camps, golf clinics, cardio and strength training classes, running groups, family yoga, therapeutic yoga, hiking workouts, and more.

“This initiative allows us to offer free access to health and wellness resources for all neighborhoods in Boston while empowering local military veterans, thanks to the support from Coca-Cola and the NRPA,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement. “Troops for Fitness benefits all participants, from attendees enjoying the free workshops to the veterans who will be using their well-honed skills to get Bostonians healthy and active.”

According to the City of Boston, the classes will take place throughout the city including locations in Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roxbury, North End, South End, and Dorchester:

The fitness programs include running groups where U.S. military veterans will lead participants through parks such as Franklin Park in Dorchester and the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain; boot camp style exercise classes taught at Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, Hunt Almont Park in Mattapan, and Carter Playground in the South End; yoga classes taught at Jamaica Pond; and golf programs to start next summer at the William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park. During the colder months, the Troops for Fitness program will host snowshoeing and other outdoor winter activities and many exercise classes will move indoors thanks to the Boston Centers for Youth & Families.

Through a $3 million grant to NRPA, Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness will be rolled out in 12 communities by 2016. Boston will join Atlanta, Miami, Newark, and Sacramento as the fifth major U.S. metropolitan area to implement Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness. Additional cities that will activate Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness in 2014 include Los Angeles, Detroit and Honolulu.

For the schedule and more information on classes, visit