City pushing residents in a healthier direction

Myrtle Beach is making strides to improve the health of its residents with a choose program.

Pepper Gedding's Recreation Center on Oak Street is starting a program that gives participants a wide range of exercise programs from yoga to water Zumba.

"Being an older person, you want to take care of yourself so you can live a little longer," resident Thurman Hemingway said.

Hemingway went to the health fair inside the center on Saturday to begin the eleven week program.

"This is the launch of our Choose Health and Fitness Program," Recreational Director Kevin Morris said. "A couple hundred folks just wanting to get fit and get healthy in 2013."

South Carolina ranks eighth in the nation for obesity.

Pushing our state down the right path starts with helping each other, Morris said.

"That's really our goal here is to give some new habits," he said. "Give you some new advice. Give you the resources and the tools you need. So when the eleven weeks is over here, you can have a whole new lifestyle that is built on fitness."

"I got hooked," said George Paraschos. He started the program a few years ago and lost 42 pounds in 12 weeks.

"I work in the restaurant, and they(customers) come in and say where's the big guy," he said. "I go, 'I'm the big guy.' They say what happened to you, and I say I got fit."

The deadline to sign up for the program is January 11.