Jeannine Sargent, owner of the Red Bow Fitness studio in University City North, and Sondra E.Z. Hines, fitness writer for Qcitymetro, will team up this spring to host the Qcitymetro Get-Fit Challenge, an eight-week program for women. (Photo: Glenn H. Burkins for Qcitymetro)

It’s been nearly seven years since I signed on as Qcitymetro’s health and fitness writer. Now in 2016, I’m looking to step things up a bit.

In early spring, I’ll launch an exercise and health program for women called the Qcitymetro Get-Fit Challenge at Red Bow Fitness. Many of the details are still being hammered out, but some things we know already.

The program will run for eight weeks and will be held at the Red Bow Fitness Studio in University City North (10210 Berkeley Pl Dr #260, Charlotte, NC 28262). Although exercise and weight loss will be a major component of the Get-Fit Challenge, the greater emphasis will be on total health…mind, body and spirit. We also know that Qcitymetro will award prizes to the top three finishers. Oh, and did I mention that I will be your exercise leader along this incredible journey?

Red Bow Fitness

Why focus on women? As caregivers in our homes and communities, we women often neglect our own health and wellbeing. I want to begin to address this issue. In addition, women make up about 60 percent of Qcitymetro readers, so we thought it would be a good place to start. (Sorry, guys. Maybe we’ll do something for you later on.)

Why Red Bow Fitness? For some of you longtime readers of my column, you may recall that I wrote about Red Bow and its owner, Jeannine Sargent, back in March 2015. At the time, she had just opened this incredible studio after winning $50,000 from Mirassou Winery, a California company that supports women-owned businesses. Since then, Sargent has done some amazing work at Red Bow.

Listen to what she has to say:

“The Red Bow is more than a gym. We all have similar goals. As a result, we support and encourage each other. It’s also a social setting – we have fun. We celebrate successes such as each other’s promotions at work and big birthdays. It’s our retreat from day-to-day challenges.”

How can I join? Although the program will not officially kick off until spring, we are now compiling a list of women who may be interested. To sign up, or to simply get futher updates, email

How can I help? There is no better publicity than word of mouth. So if you know someone who is looking to make a new commitment to long-term health and wellness, send them a link to this article. Or better yet, sign them up as a birthday gift or simply to show you care.

In addition to being your exercise leader, I’ll also be writing about the group and some of the women who are reaching their fitness goals. I hope to see you there.

Until next time, I wish you joy and wellness!

Red Bow Fitness

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has 15-plus years as a fitness instructor...