New gear along Warner Park trail is designed to help adults expand their fitness routines

New gear along Warner Park trail is designed to help adults expand their fitness routines

October 30th, 2012 by Rachel Bunn in News

UTC senior classman Terrence Banks uses one of the new exercise apparatuses after the City of Chattanooga announced Monday the official grand opening of a 2/3 mile fitness trail at Warner Park.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

The colorful equipment at Warner Park isn't just for children.

On Monday, Chattanooga opened an outdoor fitness trail, called the Health Trail, at the park. The trail has 15 colorful exercise stations along its length -- two-thirds of a mile -- with a goal of making fitness equipment more readily available to residents of all ages.

"We've been running the fitness center here since 1990, and to be able to take what we do outside is just a natural expansion," said Rick O'Rear, director of the Chattanooga Fitness Center at Warner Park.

Each station contains instructions on how to use the equipment and four different levels of exercises that can be performed at the stations. But there is room for creativity, as well.

"You have people, like the people on my staff, who see this as a fun thing they can play with," O'Rear said. "We have playgrounds for children but, unfortunately, adults don't have that playfulness in exercise."

The equipment -- worth $22,000 -- was donated by PlayCore and was developed through a partnership between PlayCore and students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Chuck Cantrell, associate vice chancellor for marketing and communications at UTC, said the project is one of the many ways students are able to interact with the community.

"Anything that benefits our greater community also benefits us," Cantrell said. "We have an obligation as a metropolitan campus to serve our community."

O'Rear hopes UTC students and residents from surrounding neighborhoods will use the equipment as part of their exercise routines.

"The sky's the limit as far as potential programs go," he said. "We're always looking for new and innovative ways to use this."

Contact staff writer Rachel Bunn at rbunn@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.