NEW YORK -- Last week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked for fitness trainers to volunteer their time to make the city more fit. The call for volunteers came during a press conference about the New York City Service TV ad campaign Give Your BLANK, which promotes volunteer service in the city. Involving more New Yorkers in service is a key goal of the campaign, according to Bloomberg.

The fitness initiative portion of the campaign is called Shape Up New York. Its goal is to recruit at least 100 volunteer fitness instructors to expand the number of free fitness courses available throughout the five boroughs to help prevent obesity.

With 100 new instructors, the Shape Up New York program can expand the number of free classes offered to allow 500 more New Yorkers access to free fitness education and training. The new instructors also will diversify class offerings, bringing new fitness disciplines, from Pilates and dance to martial arts and yoga, to Shape Up New York sites. The program is a partnership of NYC Service, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“Everyone’s got a ‘blank’,” Bloomberg said during the press conference announcing the campaign. “Whether it’s a special talent, free time, know-how, or simply a willingness to pitch in, every New Yorker has something to offer. In the mist of this national recession, the city needs your ‘blank’ now more than ever.”

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said in a release from the city, “Whatever your strengths, Shape Up New York can help you break a sweat without breaking the bank. With locations around the city, and with a variety of programs to choose from, ranging from yoga to dance, entire families can get fit for the holiday season and throughout the year. We are grateful to all the New Yorkers who, through NYC Service, are using their ‘blank’ to help expand this program.”

Fitness instructors interested in volunteering should visit http://www.nyc.gov/ or call 311.