New Healthy Living Fitness gym opens its doors to health

A Hattiesburg man who injured his back in 2000 decided to make the best of his situation. After he healed, he decided to make working out and living healthy a lifestyle. In the past 13 years, he's transformed his body, mind, and life.

Elvin Jackson was surrounded by friends and family for the grand opening of the "Healthy Living Fitness" gym in Hattiesburg on Friday. He says he wanted to open the gym, because of his passion for helping Mississippians reach their fitness goals.

"If you can just get up and drive to the gym, no matter how far it is, just get there," Jackson said.

His passion for fitness exceeds far beyond the gym doors. He's the wellness coordinator at Hattiesburg High School, and hopes to end obesity in Mississippi.

"'We do this thing called "Move to Learn," and it's to set aside a specified time for kids to get up and move,"' said Jackson.

He says his gym is different than others.

"There's no negative tone, no negative message being sent," he said." We allow everyone to come in and be themselves."

There's also a smoothie bar. He says nutrition is key for living right.

"Fruit is good for you. Eat as many vegetables as you can. Stay away from starch, and drink lots of water," Jackson said.

Jackson also encourages all Mississippians to get up and get in shape.