In between pumping iron himself, Jeffrey James enjoys personal training and helping others get in shape. James was diagnosed with leukemia twelve years ago and said staying fit keeps him going.
"I'm not taking as much medication as I normally would take, so health wise it's helping me a whole lot," said James.
James is one of many members of the fitness center at the Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity.
"It's a good facility because for one it's free," James told WLBT News.
Anyone who signs up to workout at the Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity can use the gym without paying a penny. In addition to getting in shape you can also take advantage of the Farmer's Market. A variety of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables are on sale several days a week. Beneta Burt, the Executive Director for the Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity said the combination of accessible healthy foods and fitness makes a difference in the community.
"We've had people who have come in and just barely walking really and now they are on the treadmill, on the bike," said Burt.
Food Corp member Abi Phillips teaches JPS students about healthy nutrition.
"It's kind of an experiential learning process about good food and cooking and how to prepare affordable easy snacks at home," said Phillips.
The facility also has a kid's gym. Much of the children's equipment mimics what you would find in the adult gym. It's all geared towards getting children working out at a young age.
"We want them to be able to see the fitness activities that their parents are engaged in," said Burt.
Employees from the non-profit organization also deliver healthy foods to seniors. Cooking classes are also available for parents.
The Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity opened in 2006 with a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It's located at 2548 Livingston Road in Jackson. The fitness center is open Monday thru Saturday. The farmer's market is available Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information you can call 601-987-6783 or click on the Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity website at http://www.mississippiroadmap.org/.