National ParkRx Day is Sunday, April 29. This growing movement encourages everyone to see park visits as important to health and wellness. Leading up to National ParkRx Day, we are featuring members of our community who have seen their health and well-being improved by being active in their parks. Washington Township resident Cindi Allison is the final profile in our series of series!
How do you spend your time in the parks that most affects your health and well-being?
“When I retired, I decided to improve my health. My first goal was changing my eating habits and losing weight. After I had that goal underway, adding exercise was my next goal. I started by walking laps at Oak Creek South. When I’d built stamina, I enrolled in and have been attending CWPD classes more than three years. Some of my favorite classes are Nordic Trekking, Hike for Your Health, HIIT the Parks, and Couch to 5K. It’s been great fun trying new activities. Instructors are knowledgeable and very encouraging to beginners and more experienced participants.”
What types of improvements have you seen in your health and/or medical tests that you feel were a result of being in the parks?
“Exercising in the parks helped me reach my weight loss goal, improve my muscle tone, and become a much more active person. My blood pressure is excellent and my resting heart rate is in the low 50s. In addition, making new friends in classes is a definite mood lifter.”
What health benefits have you experienced from outdoor exercise that you have not seen from indoor exercise?
“Before beginning CWPD classes, I was a total indoor person. Now I’m outside every day no matter how hot or cold it is. Because of the fresh air and sunshine, walking outside is more beneficial to me than an indoor treadmill. My day just doesn’t feel complete without exercising outside.”
Which parks are your favorite(s)? Why?
“Oak Creek South is 5 minutes from my house and is my favorite park. I enjoy walking while watching people having fun using the skate park, the playground equipment, and playing ball. I also enjoy hearing the bullfrogs in the wetlands. Oak Grove is my second favorite park because of the longer paved path, the exercise stations, and the fishing pond.”
Do you have any additional thoughts or comments you would like to add?
“The parks are always clean and well maintained. Staff is friendly and helpful. Improvements in the parks have been fantastic during the 38 years I’ve lived in the area. I feel fortunate having access to such wonderful activities and encourage other residents to use our parks.”