A new outdoor fitness park has been created in downtown Springfield to improve the health of local residents and promote healthy lifestyles.
The Warder Fitness Station is located in an outdoor park across the lake from a bicycle pedestrian. It is on the corner of Warder Street and North Street. The fitness equipment in the station includes aerobic exercise equipment, strength equipment and balance equipment.
"It's great to be able to really use the equipment flexibly," says Pat Frock, director of Springfield Health Care. The fitness program received a $20,000 grant from the Ohio State Department of Health as part of a partnership between the state and Clark County to create healthy Communities.
According to Sarah Dahlinghaus, a health educator for the Clark County Associated Health District, the program aims to give county residents greater access to fitness equipment and greater ability to purchase health care supplies. To increase residents' access to physical activity and to ensure that ohioans live, work, and play.
Clark County currently ranks 74th out of 88 counties in terms of national health standards.
Sarah Dahlinghaus says the health district, the national Parks and recreation district have worked together to plan for the new park. They all hope to set up a fitness park near the bike trail, making it easy for gymgoers to enter and attract them to use the fitness equipment.
Health care costs - such as gym fees - are currently a barrier for urbanites, Dahlinghaus says, so planners hope the new zone will be open to all income levels. "It's going to be a full cycle, because we also need free people to be active in the park," he said.
Planners say obesity and inactivity are two of the biggest threats to health, and they are working on building fitness parks to change that.
Today, nearly 30 percent of the population is obese and 25 percent never exercise. "A drop in any of these Numbers would be a success." Dahlinghaus said.
Many of springfield's faculty members volunteer to go to the park and teach people how to use fitness equipment, Frock said. Fitness park is the most important supporting facilities in the community, because it helps to improve the physical quality of residents, active community life. People will be healthier, live longer and be happier.
The project to create healthy Communities will continue, with nine projects planned as of 2016, Dahlinghaus said.
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