National Seashore Hopes to Expand on Successful Walking and Wellness Program

CC_National_Seashore_Fort_Hill_Area_001EASTHAM – Cape Cod National Seashore wrapped up the first season of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People walking and wellness program.

The partnership with Cape Cod Healthcare provided maps and guides for five different trails, along with the opportunity to meet physicians, nurses and trainers from the healthcare organization.

“The concept of the program is to get people out here moving on the trails and on the bike paths rather than just sitting on the beach,” said Cape Cod National Seashore Interpretive Park Ranger Anna Gannett. “Really taking advantage of the full resources that this park has to offer.”

The National Seashore’s partnership with Cape Cod Healthcare is expected to last from three to five years.

“It’s been really great working with the people from Cape Cod Healthcare. There’s a lot of really great experts,” Gannett said.

The first year of the program featured more than 170 participants in the walking program, according to Gannett, who believes the program can be expanded next year.

“Next spring we will pick it back up again with a walking program, but we hope to do more with trail running and with the youth programs,” she said. “It’s definitely a work-in-progress and we had a lot of great programs this year, but I think that we can do even more next year and reach more people.”

The program ran from July through mid-October.

“This is a way for all of us to get healthier while enjoying nature and all the resources the Cape has to offer,” said Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price. “We would like to give a special thanks to Cape Cod Healthcare for spearheading this well-organized health program.”

The physicians, nurses and athletic trainers provided blood pressure readings along with weight, body mass and height measurements for the program participants.

An end of the season event was held last Thursday and included yoga, tai chi and fitness demonstrations.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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