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Adventure Out: Turning Over a New Leaf

MUSC Fitness Park

Active use of trails and outdoor exercise equipment for positive health outcomes is being seen more and more by health professionals as an excellent way to encourage people to adopt lifestyle changes that will bring lifetime health benefits. Scientific evidence from the CDC’s Guide to Community Preventive Services shows that providing access to places for physical activity, such as trails, increases the level of physical activity in a community.

There is a significant body of evidence describing how green spaces can contribute to better health and education outcomes. Several studies show that contact with the natural environment and green space promotes good health, while participation in regular outdoor physical activity generates physical and mental health benefits. Physical exercise in natural environments has important implications for public and environmental health.

Built environments that facilitate more active lifestyles and reduce barriers to physical activity are desirable because of the positive relationship between physical activity and health. Achieving this goal is challenging in a healthcare setting with an extensive built environment that is already in place and often expensive to change. Nevertheless, the built environment is constantly being renovated and rebuilt and new developments constructed, which provides opportunities, over time, to institute policies and practices that support healthy environments.

Fitness trails and stations combine scientifically designed exercises with walking or jogging to provide a well-balanced physical fitness routine for the entire body. Individual exercise stations with apparatus are spaced along a walking trail or jogging path. The participant proceeds from one exercise station to the next and performs the exercises illustrated at each station.

In the past few years significant strides have been made in promoting an environment of health and wellbeing to our employees, medical staff and volunteers. Examples include the creation of a tobacco free campus, a smoke free medical district, Center of Excellence and Gold Apple designation by SCHA Working Well, and multiple green initiatives such as MUSC Sustainability, the Urban Farm, and the Porcher Medicinal Garden. The MUSC Fitness Park is another step in efforts to promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle among our family of employees and the community. More information coming soon on ribbon cutting and location of this new resource.