Hattiesburg gym prioritizes physical & mental health


HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – One Hattiesburg business is not only promoting physical health but also mental health to help heal the community.

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

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

Jones works closely with boxing expert Joshua Brown to provide the community with what he believes is a needed and excellent service.

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

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

“Fitness is more than just working out,” said Jones. “It’s all mental. Now all jobs are kind of home-based. You have to get moving around. We just teach things from being at home, working out in the gym, walking, just a lifestyle. We’re just trying to teach you a healthy lifestyle.”

Natasha Funches is a gym member and said health starts with clean 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 dieting.”

Funches said the gym has helped her 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 drained, so I knew that if I wanted the longevity of my business to grow, I had to help myself.

“You got to want it. You got to make up your mind that you want to change and heal and just get here. The physical part is just getting here.”

2022 is the second year of business for Jones. He said COVID-19 impacted everyone and that his job is to help people get back on track.

“Let’s focus on you,” said Jones. “If you’re battling depression or different things that don’t make you feel well, this is where you can come.”

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

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