• By Joe O'Keefe

Path to Health Community Fitness Trail, Exercise System to Debut at July 29 Event

July 26, 2016

Path to Health South trailROCHESTER, Minn. — A trail featuring a new 20-station exercise system is set for its community debut during an event on Friday, July 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Mayo Family Clinic Southeast, 4544 Canal Place Southeast, in Rochester. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at noon.

The Path to Health total fitness system, a walking and jogging path equipped with multiple exercise stations, includes a 0.4-mile paved trail giving people the option to participate in a self-guided, self-paced, balanced exercise routine using the various exercise stations. This community fitness and health project is a collaboration among the Hexum family of Rochester, Mayo Clinic, and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) of Olmsted County Public Health Services.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 out of 5 Minnesotans are overweight or obese, and insufficient physical activity plays a role in that statistic,” says Pete Giesen, Director, Olmsted County Public Health Services. “Path to Health is a community-led project to improve and promote good health, and aligns with the SHIP goal of reducing obesity rates and helping prevent chronic diseases.”

Path to Health East trail looking west

During the July 29 event, Mayo Clinic wellness coordinators from the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center will demonstrate exercises at the various stations that incorporate stretching, flexibility, muscle toning and cardio activities. A “poker walk” also will be set up along the trail for participants to collect cards and, depending on the cards collected, win prizes.

MEDIA CONTACT: Joe O’Keefe, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

“Exercise can improve one’s health, mood, energy and a number of other benefits,” says Lori Baumbach, Family Medicine, who is operations manager, Mayo Clinic Employee and Community Health and member of the Path to Health planning team. “Path to Health provides an ideal resource for the community, visitors and employees from nearby businesses to have a fun, healthy and safe way to reach one’s fitness goals whether through simply walking the trail or using the exercise stations.”

Warmup, conditioning and cool-down exercises, as well as signage describing the exercises and how to use the equipment, are included along the path throughout the 20-station system by Maine Avenue Southeast and Canal Place Southeast, adjacent to Mayo Family Clinic Southeast. Heart rate guides also are posted to enable users to gauge exertion levels and properly pace their workouts. Information about Path to Health is being shared with nearby businesses and community fitness groups to encourage its use.

“We want to invite individuals, groups and businesses in the community who are interested in fitness or those seeking a new path to walk or jog to try out the Path to Health,” says Tom and Barb Hexum, donors and members of the project planning team. “This was created to be a community resource to utilize and enjoy.”

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