Health News

Saipan launched Project M fitness class vs non-communicable diseases

By Lori Lyn Lirio

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THE Physical Activity Council, established under the Non Communicable Disease of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp and Division of Public Health, has launched Project M – a community-based project committed to eliminate the risk of non-communicable diseases through exercise.

The council’s chairwoman Samantha Birmingham-Babauta said Project M activities has started on three places – at the parking lot of Systems of Care office in San Antonio, Koblerville Youth Center and Dandan Middle School baseball field.

“Project M stands for ‘metgut’ for Chamorro and ‘mamaw’ for Carolinian which means ‘strong’. After the establishment of the Physical Activity Council, we talked about how we can improve, increase activities and get people to just really move all the time. A lot of people are asking how can we do that?” Birmingham-Babauta said.

She said Project M aims to provide free exercise classes.

“This is for beginner level. Our target audience is those who have never worked out before and just want to move.”

The goal, according to Birmingham-Babauta, is to have the grassroots efforts of bringing the activities into the villages so people will have access to free workout. She said they wanted the Project M to be accessible to people within the village because transportation, the expensive membership to the gym and the lack of park or sidewalk within the village are often the barriers for people who want to be healthier.

For a start, Birmingham- Babauta will handle the fitness class but she welcomed fitness professionals and other trainers to join in implementing the Project M.

“This will be a pilot program that is intended to jump start the New Year goals. A lot of people said they wanted to be healthier and lose weight. As a pilot, we will look at analyzing what is effective, what do we need to change and what is the location that more popular than others, do they like that rotated or should we just keep it in one spot. And we will analyze that and we will come back to have a long-term for the new year,” she said.

“It will be more of like a boot camp,” Birmingham-Babauta said of what to expect in the 45- minute workout.

She advised the participants to bring their own water and a mat – either yoga mat or beach towel, something they can use for floor exercise.


Systems of Care parking lot – Oct 11, Nov. 1, Nov. 29, Dec. 20
Koblerville Youth Center – Oct. 18, Nov. 8. Dec. 6
Dandan Middle School Baseball field – Oct. 25, Nov. 15, Dec. 13.

All classes will start at 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Lori Lyn Lirio
Lori Lyn C. Lirio is a veteran newshen having worked for the People's Journal Tonight for more than 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines University. She currently writes for the Marianas Variety, Saipan's number one community paper. .

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