PEPPERELL -- Community members can give the stigma of prescription drug abuse the boot at a free exercise boot camp hosted by North Middlesex Cares.

The nonprofit will host work out sessions May 5 , 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the Pepperell Town Field. Attendees can try out Zumba, kickboxing, high-intensity interval training, yoga, and core exercises. The sessions are designed for people of all fitness levels.

"It's a comfortable, not competitive, atmosphere," said Mary Morgan, secretary of NM Cares.

Attendees should bring a yoga mat, towel, and water. Volunteers from five local fitness clubs will teach 10 to 12 minute workout sessions of each exercise.

The event is a way for the community to show support for those with addiction and combat stigma, which can prevent those in need from asking for help or receiving it due to negative attitudes.

At the boot camp, NM Cares will have a resource table and there will be information from the fitness centers teaching the sessions.

In the past, the nonprofit has hosted community events, including vigils, road races, and educational presentations, but this is the first boot camp, Morgan said.

NM Cares boot camp shirts will be available through a $5 donation. Morgan said the first 75 people to come will receive a "swag bag."

The event is funded in part by a grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation and sponsorship from 1A Auto and KRM Carpentry.


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