Hattiesburg Gym prioritizes physical and mental health

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – A Hattiesburg company promotes not only physical health but also mental health to help heal the community.

Damion Jones, co-owner of The Sweatboxx, said he believes physical, mental and spiritual health go hand in hand.

“Our goal here is to promote health,” Jones said.

Jones works closely with boxing expert Joshua Brown to provide the community with what he sees as much needed great service.

According to a 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, Mississippi has the second highest adult obesity rate in the nation at 37.3%.

Jones believes in encouraging others to adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

“Fitness is more than exercise,” Jones said. “It’s all mental. Now all jobs are kind of home-based. You have to be able to move. We just teach things by being at home, exercising in the gym, walking, just a way of life. We are simply trying to teach you a healthy lifestyle.

Natasha Funches is a gym member and says health starts with healthy eating.

“If you want to change, you’re going to have to change your diet,” she said. “A lot of people say they want to change and do this and that, but they don’t want to take the first step. The first step is to follow a diet.

Funches said the gym helped transform her mindset and guided her on her weight loss journey.

“I lost my grandmother in 2020, and it took a toll on my mental health, so I had to find myself,” she said. “I went to work every day mentally exhausted, so I knew that if I wanted the longevity of my business to grow, I had to help myself.

“You have to want it. You have to decide that you want to change and heal and just get here. The physical part just happened.

2022 is Jones’ second year in business. He said COVID-19 is impacting everyone and his job is to help people get back on track.

“Let’s focus on you,” Jones said. “If you’re struggling with depression or different things that don’t make you feel good, that’s where you can come.”

The Mississippi Obesity Action Plan serves to develop, plan, and implement obesity prevention strategies in the state. If you would like to get involved, you can visit msdh.ms.gov.

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