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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Fitness establishments like SoulCycle and Equinox are placed in downtown Manhattan. They are expensive and are at a certain price point many New Yorkers can not afford.

Harlem is gentrified, meaning there are more healthy food spots, gyms, fitness boutiques in the area. Harlem streets are becoming cleaner, richer, diverse, healthier and even safer. What makes this better now?

Spike Lee’s take on gentrification: "I grew up here in New York...And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the South Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better? The garbage wasn't picked up every motherfucking day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. ... The police weren't around. When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o'clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something”.

To go off of Spike Lee’s point, it should not have to take upper-class people to start living in a low-income neighborhood to start to clean it up, build better buildings, and open up more businesses in Harlem that we are used to seeing in lower Manhattan. But there are some positives and negatives to a neighborhood being gentrified.

There are still low-income residents in Harlem that are not privileged enough to access the new additions to Harlem. Many residents in low-income areas cannot afford the products or the gym memberships. What happens when the residents in the area can’t afford these services? It can be hard for the residents to utilize these new places and also hard for these businesses to make money in these low-income neighborhoods. This can cause the businesses to shut down.

It is good that Harlem is starting to have more fitness places. Usually, low-income neighborhoods are filled with unhealthy food restaurants and not enough healthy places. Harlem is still getting an influx of healthier businesses like Harlem Cycle. This is helping people who do not want to make a long commute be able to start in their neighborhood to get a nice workout.

They can also meet like-minded people who live in the same neighborhood, make friends and become workout buddies. Some of these residents may decide to not go to a gym and use the park or the streets for their fitness but this can’t work if their neighborhoods are not safe. Another issue is that low-income residents may do not have the time to get to a gym somewhere further away because they are working multiple jobs to make ends.

America is just a bunch of fat ass people. It can be a result of gyms, healthy food and fitness studios being too expensive for the hood. But it can be also that we don’t feel like we need it. This is what we have been fed and accustomed to for generations.

We have 24-hour fast food places but do not have 24-hour healthy restaurants, juice bars, not enough gyms. We are so quick to run to the liquor store to make it before it closes at 12 am but can’t make it to the gym before it closes to even just get a 20 min workout and stay on top of your health. It is a mixture of the people of the society not being invested enough in our own health but also not have the places in our neighborhood to keep up with our health.

It is time we start standing up and trying to build more healthy places, more fitness places in our hoods so we can live longer, be fitter at an older age, not catch the itis when we eat, not settle for the chicken spot food when we can get a nice salad, not go to the local bar to catch happy hour and go to the gym to get a workout in.