Workshops and News from Shape Up RI

Photo of Shape Up RI founder, Rajiv Kumar.  Courtesy of

Photo of Shape Up RI founder, Rajiv Kumar. Courtesy of

By Reza Corinne Clifton

RHODE ISLAND – Interested in being part of a 35,000-strong network of people who have lost “thousands of pounds” and walked “millions of miles?” Do you want to learn more about how you and your company or organization can get active, lose weight and save money with team-based wellness? If you said yes or even contemplated the two questions, then you should consider attending a Shape Up RI Information Session.

Shape Up RI is a statewide exercise and weight loss program that annually recruits teams and peer groups to pursue healthy lifestyles through increased physical activity and better nutrition. Participants compete on teams and track their weight, exercise hours, and/or pedometer steps over a twelve-week period in a Spring Challenge or in the summer during an eight-week period. Along the way, they also receive access to yoga, rock climbing, spinning, kickboxing, nutrition seminars, cooking classes and other free events.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was founded by Brown Medical School student, Rajiv Kumar, on the belief that the solution to healthy living lies in the power of teamwork and peer support. Recent research also shows that “healthy behavior change through social networks is the most effective way to transform lifestyles for the long term.”

Rajiv Kumar and Shape Up RI Receive National Recognition

Earlier this month, Kumar received a national Community Health Leaders Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for his work with Shape Up RI, and his “efforts to reduce obesity among Rhode Island residents through exercise and healthy eating.” He and nine others, whose areas of work include self-directed care for people with disabilities, a mentoring program to help disadvantaged youth pursue health careers, culturally sensitive and appropriate health care for Cambodian-American immigrants, and mental health services for the under-served, became part of 173 “Community Health Leaders in nearly all states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia” who have been recognized by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropy organization that focuses on “the pressing health and health care issues facing [the U.S.].”

For more information about Shape Up RI, visit or attend an October Information Session. Information sessions are free, and they are designed for companies, organizations, and individuals who are interested in learning how social networks influence wellness and how you can tap into these to benefit your employees and company. See the times and locations below or call (401) 421-0608 or email to sign up for a session.


Tuesday, October 27th
2:00pm- 3:00pm
Warwick Public Library
600 Sandy Lane
Warwick, RI

Thursday, October 29th
11:00am- 12:00pm
Cumberland Public Library
1464 Diamond Hill Road
Cumberland, RI

Thursday, October 29th
2:00pm- 3:00pm
Rogers Free Library
525 Hope Street
Bristol, RI

Friday, October 30th
11:00am- 12:00pm
Shape Up RI
150 Chestnut Street, 4th Floor
Providence, RI


To learn more about the annual Community Health Leaders Award and this year’s winners, visit For more about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, visit

Urban Health Watch ( is part of the RI Prevention Block Grant, a program funded by the RI Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To send your events, ideas, or personal stories about health, email or leave a comment on


3 responses to “Workshops and News from Shape Up RI

  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Take 5 w. Reza Rites - October 28, 2009

  2. Pingback: This Just In: Shape Up RI Holds Summer Kickoff in Mt. Hope/Prov on Saturday, June 19 « Urban Health Watch

  3. Pingback: This Just In: Shape Up RI Holds Summer Kickoff in Mt. Hope/Prov on Saturday, June 19 « Urban Health Watch

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