Now more than ever people are attracted to walkable cities and community recreation facilities to help melt away unforgiving body fat and get more fit.
Parents want these fit healthy opportunities and resources for their children as seen in recent city services surveys and studies. Local and National statistics show there is good reason communities are trending in this direction.
The National Center for Health Statistics show more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity (NCHS 2015). Overweight conditions don’t just present a diabetes and heart disease risk for adults. There is also what some consider a near epidemic of childhood obesity cases growing nationwide. “Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6–19) has obesity (Center for Disease and Control 2017).”
Another study shows when city urban designers and architects work together to improve human life, “design of urban environments has the potential to contribute substantially to physical activity” and “reduce the health burden of the global physical inactivity pandemic (The Lancet, Volume 387, No. 10034, p2207-2217, 28 May 2016).”
These statistics and other studies like them are resonating within the public and community leadership to combat the national inactivity pandemic. Whereas healthy lifestyle justice – [regardless of social or economic status] demands more city recreation facilities, activities access and equal use for all… and the public is listening.
As a city leader, I fully support Tigard’s strong vision to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest. I understand how walkable cities and recreation activities and events motivate people to move more, increase fitness levels and sustain better health and wellbeing. Which also makes us more productive.
Recently I published an article “Recreation Saves Lives and Cities.” Within the article I detail how walkable communities and recreational facilities are valued from a public health, social, economic and city sustainability perspective.
These distinctions and importance can’t be emphasized enough especially since adults now demand more public recreation activities and community facilities for them and their children. “When cities lack public recreation facilities families look elsewhere to find them and even relocate to meet long term child development and active adult needs (Woodard 2017).”
Cities that invest in recreation assets and programs are further enriched by attracting and retaining people who need and want those things… coincidentally support other essential city operations and community at large.
It is these public use recreation facilities and activities investments that motivate bodies to stay in motion, gather, socialize and activate commerce. Including small business incubator opportunities.
Regardless of social and economic status all people benefit by supporting and investing in walkable communities and recreational facilities, activities, events, programs and services.
In ending, there is one recreational activity everyone can participate in at no cost to stay fit healthy throughout the year. Tigard has no shortage of city trail systems and park lands.
My favorite recreational activity for exercise is walking along Fanno Creek Regional trail system through Tigard. If you’ve not taken the opportunity to experience it with family or friends I highly recommend it.
This is a very relaxing and fun way to get a little exercise, burn some calories while taking in nature’s beauty. Along the way be sure to spend a little time Down Town Tigard, visit the local shops and grab a healthy meal.
To learn more about Tigard walking trails, connections and Down Town area visit Tigard walks at http://www.tigard-or.gov/community/tigard_walks.php .
Good Health to You and Your Family.
Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. Is a member of the Tigard City Council. He is a strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2017 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.com