National Fitness Day workouts to raise money for Girls on the Run

There are “national days” for everything from cheesecake to talking like a pirate. So Kim Bielak was surprised to find that there wasn’t a National Fitness Day.

The New Yorker had recently co-founded Class for a Cause, which raises money for fitness-related causes, and was looking for the perfect day to hold fundraising workouts.

“The idea was it was one day where everyone could go do good for you and then take that day to donate to someone else,” said Bielak, a marketing manager for startup Shopkick. “I was looking for a National Fitness Day and realized there was none.”

With that, a National Fitness Day was born. On May 10, Class for a Cause has organized workouts throughout New York, as well as Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Michigan, at studios such as Barry’s Bootcamp and BollyX. All fees from the classes will go to this year’s beneficiary, Girls on the Run, an after-school program that helps girls develop leadership skills through running activities.

Class for a Cause is also raising money through T-shirts that participants are encouraged to wear on National Fitness Day.

amNewYork spoke with Bielak.

What is your interest in fitness?

My background is in dance. I noticed a lot of my friends from my dance days started going into fitness. It was a natural progression. I’ve been a very big ClassPass enthusiast. I took up running. I’m now a big yogi. I was thinking, what is one umbrella that can bring us all together? Class for a Cause and National Fitness Day came out of this idea of being in the community.

Do you still do ClassPass?

I have my little on-hold membership. I still go to one class a month. I actually converted over to Modo Yoga. I had to go more than three times a month. West Side Highway is my favorite place to run. Part of that is the reason why we chose Girls on the Run for our beneficiary this year. I really related to their mission, and I can see how some of their running-based curriculum empowers girls to be more confident. Now I’m a full-on volunteer, too.

How did studios get on board for National Fitness Day?

It’s been pretty grass-roots. I got a lot of organic response. It was really interesting to see how close-knit the fitness community is in New York. I moved here two years ago, I had no idea how vibrant the fitness community was.

Why May 10?

I wish I had a better story. The date itself was not significant, it was more the season … when it starts to get warmer and you start getting excited about working out again.

How do you see this growing?

We have a whole list of ideas, though nothing is set in stone. Something like events in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, where we can get a bunch of studios to go come teach a class every hour on the hour and even have classes live-streamed. I think there’s a lot more we can do to get people involved on a much grander scale.

Kim Bielak

Age: 26

Neighborhood: West Village

Occupation: Marketing manager for Shopkick; co-founder of Class for a Cause

Workout jam: “FourFiveSeconds” by Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney


National Fitness Day is May 10. For a list of participating studios, visit nationalfitnessday.org.