Get a Banging Body

Health and fitness -- simplified

One of the most effective tools for combatting the current obesity epidemic is education. The more you know about how to get -- and stay -- healthy, the more likely you are to make smart choices about your health.

A new book aims to give people the tools they need to build strong, healthy bodies in a way that’s accessible to people of all ages, incomes and fitness levels. Fitness expert, motivational speaker and founder of New York’s City Gym Boys, Charles LaSalle used his passion for fitness to produce the ultimate workout guide: Get A Bangin’ Body.

Fitness for all

Geared toward both men and women, Get a Bangin’ Body offers practical advice on diet and fitness in a way that’s easy to understand. Putting the focus on health doesn’t have to mean joining a pricey gym or blowing your grocery budget at a fancy health-food store. In fact, what LaSalle offers is a body-weight-only program, something that anyone -- whatever their age, income or fitness level -- can undertake. Think lunges, pull-ups, crunches, sit-ups and other activities that you can do anywhere, anytime.

Meet the City Gym Boys

Founded by LaSalle in 1997, City Gym Boys is a fitness company dedicated to mentoring inner-city youth on the lifelong benefits of fitness and exercise. Their mission: to eliminate the illnesses and conditions associated with obesity. Coming in at 24 members, representing more than 14 nationalities, the group partners regularly with Dr. Mehmet Oz's Health Corps, the American Diabetes Association and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Initiative. City Gym Boys also sponsor a long-standing weekly youth fitness program with the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem.

Behind the book

As an award-winning bodybuilder, LaSalle and the buff-bodied members of his City Gym Boys are all featured in the book, which focuses on how easy it can be to incorporate fitness into your life. “I wrote this book Get a Bangin’ Body because I wanted to get the City Gym Boys’ message on the importance of fitness out to the public, especially to the youth,” said LaSalle in a statement about the book. “You have to move your body and focus on burning calories. We want to create change and motivate America on a whole. This process is about your mind, body and soul.”

The fight to end obesity

As much as we may not want to talk about it, obesity is a serious issue that isn’t going away and continues to dominate public attention. Vending machines are being taken out of schools, New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Health want to ban the sale of over-sized sugary drinks and what we eat continues to be scrutinized. But the responsibility to be healthy is ultimately up to each individual, something LaSalle takes to heart. “As the obesity epidemic rises in this country, the first thing in changing one's body is changing one’s mind,” he said. “It's about tapping into the mind of the nation and motivating them to get off the couch and move. ” LaSalle believes Americans need to take responsibility for their own lives and start exercising their bodies if we’re going to win this battle against obesity as a nation.

"As the obesity epidemic rises in this country, the first thing in changing one's body is changing one's mind."

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