We’ve all heard it before: Americans need to improve their health. We can all do better about exercise. What if all it took was a different way of thinking to get us moving?
The Trust for Public Land offers some interesting facts to help inspire your fitness routine in the New Year:
Ninety-five percent of adults, 92 percent of teens, and 58 percent of youth are not meeting the daily recommendations for physical activity.
The more parks there are in a community, the more people exercise.
People who live closer to parks exercise more.
People who live closer to parks report better mental health, whether or not they exercise there.
Parks with fun features, like skate parks and sports fields, attract more people.
More exercise saves people money by helping the bottom line in preventing chronic disease.
Hood River Valley Parks and District and other agencies offer a variety of trails, parks and facilities in the community which can you improve your health.
Golden Eagle Park, Hood River’s newest park, located on Indian Creek Road next the high school, has an activity for everyone. There are multi-purpose courts lined for basketball and tennis, pickleball courts, a mountain bike skills course and an asphalt pump track for bikes, scooters and skateboards.
The newly rebuilt Children’s Park playground, on the corner of Eugene and Ninth Street and operated by the City of Hood River, has a new play structure to explore, climb, and slide down, is accessible, and is fun for all ages.
Indian Creek Trail bisects the city from the end of Hazel Avenue (just south of downtown) to Barrett Park, giving people convenient options to hike, run or bike from their home or other central locations.
Waterfront Park, a popular park for tourists and locals alike, has a crescent shaped beach, access for water sport enthusiasts, a trail that stretches as far west to the Hook and east to Best Western Plus Hood River Inn, with access to town. There’s a variety play structures, two picnic shelters and plenty of open space for hanging out with friends or playing a game of catch.
The Skate Park and Disc Golf Course are located across the street from one another at the corner of 20th and Wasco Avenue. The Skate Park has a variety of terrain and a covered bowl, while the Disc Golf course across the street, offers nine fun-filled challenging holes.
Odell Community Park, at 3167 Tamarack Road, features a fully covered basketball court, two play structures, fitness equipment and a multi-use path.
When the rain becomes too much for outside play, the Hood River Aquatic Center, at 1601 May St., is an affordable oasis during the winter. The three pools offer something for everyone: A competition-sized lap pool, a warm therapy pool and a zero entry wading pool.
Activities you can take advantage of include swim lessons, water aerobics, aqua basketball, a rope swing, slide and aqua glide Saturdays.
Every Friday night from 6-8 p.m. and every Sunday from 1-5 p.m., admission is $1.
Whatever you do this winter, make sure you remember that there are plenty of parks and recreational options in our community that can help you improve your overall health. So get out and get fit!
Healthy Active Hood River County (HAHRC) is a community healthy living coalition that promotes wellness through increased physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention, behavioral health, prevention of addictions and policy and environmental change.
The next meeting will be Feb. 26 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Providence Hood River Hospital board room.
Marcie Wily is assistant director, Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District.