During brisk afternoon walks I often cross a pedestrian bridge in my neck of the woods. It’s located on Tiedemann Avenue in Tigard at the North East corner of Fowler Grade School next to the track. This bridge crossing over Fanno creek is a pedestrian access point into Dirksen Nature Park. One day after walking across the bridge I broke stride to focus on a youth doing pull-ups at the far West end of the field. I changed course to reacquaint myself with that area.
Then reread the dedication plaque. “This outdoor fitness center was presented to the Citizens of Tigard by the Rotary Club of Tigard to commemorate the Club’s 50 years of SERVICE ABOVE SELF, February 13, 2014.” It reminded me of how committed this organization and others like them are and work to improve the livability of families and community at large.
The project was paid for by the Tigard Rotary Club and it marked their 50th year anniversary. They’ve been established in Tigard since 1964. If you’d like to know more about their organization, visit https://tigardrotary.org/.
Today I use the equipment frequently and exercise between walks using my body weight as the resistant weight-force to improve strength and flexibility. The exercise you see me doing in the picture is a modified chest press. I simply lean against a bench-like object, then lower to and push away from the platform to complete a repetition. This particular exercise targets the undercut of the chest and front shoulders and upper back during the down-stroke motion.
And while holding the angled pike position performing the modified incline pushup, it tones other parts of the body. “How does it do that?” It takes supportive leg, buttocks, core and back muscles to hold the rigid position while performing the exercise.
Many of you know aerobic exercise has cardio and weight loss benefits. But may not be aware of how important strength, flexibility and body toning exercises are to posture, balance and mobility. To leave these fitness components out of the exercise equation is to leave the body less capable of performing essential daily tasks long term. Like lifting a grocery bag, getting out of a chair, yard work, or going up or down stairs, etc.
If you’d like to incorporate stretches, strength and body toning exercises during a walk, outdoor exercise stations like this one can certainly help achieve the goal. This exercise area is nestled in nature’s back yard where anyone can use it at no charge. There is also an extra bonus “bark chipped trails to walk around between exercise sets.”
If you see me there, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself.
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 Copy right. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.com