GRAND BLANC, MI – Adults and teens in the Grand Blanc community can now experience fresh air while working out in a gym-like setting.
Together with Priority Health and the National Fitness Campaign, the City of Grand Blanc opened an outdoor Priority Health Fitness Court on Wednesday, June 14, intended for individuals 14 and up, regardless of age or athletic ability.
The Fitness Court is located behind city hall in Dennis S. Smith Park, located at 203 E. Grand Blanc Road.
Ann Donnelly, Priority Health Vice President of Care Management, said the mission of the company is to provide equitable and affordable care to all.
“We really take the health of our entire state of Michigan and our community seriously,” Donnelly said. “So, that’s why we’re investing in these health courts or fitness courts across the entire state of Michigan – the whole lower mitten – so that we can hopefully encourage our entire state of Michigan to be more active and to be healthier.”
Following a ribbon cutting for the court, members of the Ascension Genesys Health Club demonstrated different ways to use the fitness equipment.
The court is divided into seven sections: core, squat, push, lunge, pull, agility and bend. It can be used individually or in a group setting.
Possible exercises include pull ups, lunges, pushups and squats at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.
“The modifications to these are amazing,” Donnelly said. “Everything from people who are … just getting started to people who are super fit and cross trainers can use this, people in wheelchairs, people with disabilities – this can meet everybody’s needs.”
Upon arrival, visitors can scan the QR code on the court wall or download the Fitness Court app to access workout routines. The Fitness Court App is available for iOS and Android. The wall also depicts diagrams, explaining how to use the equipment.
Donnelly said users can modify routines based on need.
“You might have a weaker core, so, you might want a certain set of modifications for the core area,” Donnelly said. “Maybe you have really strong just lower legs – you’re a runner, and your legs can go forever – then you can do maybe the higher end things there. So, you can really make it a personalized workout for yourself.”
Donnelly empathized the equipment was created with varying athletic abilities and ages in mind.
“Balance is so important, especially as we age,” Donnelly said. “We don’t want … old people falling down and breaking their hips, so, that balance is so important. So, I would love to see our older people coming out … and practicing here.”
Grand Blanc Mayor Susan Soderstrom said the court is an “incredible addition” to the city.
“I’ve been other places where I’ve seen courts like this,” Soderstrom said. “They are really well used and … it’s just another incentive for people to be downtown and enjoy what we have.”
After visitors leave the site, they can take the Fitness Court app with them to access workout routines and tips at home.
“Whether it’s the lunges that you don’t need some of this equipment, or you can find a surrogate – at home, I use a regular step on my stairway to go up and down,” Donnelly said. “You can find ways to use the fitness court and the exercises – so to speak – at your own home with what you have.”
Once complete, Grand Blanc City Manager Wendy Jean-Buhrer said the park, named in honor of the city’s first fire chief, will have a playground for children to coincide with the Fitness Court.
“We have two other phases, and one of them is to create a playground,” Jean-Buhrer said. “It will be all fenced in, so that while the parents are playing on the fitness part, the children can play (too).”
Bringing the court to the city was made possible by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and a $10,000 grant from the Grand Blanc Community Fund.
The Fitness Court in Grand Blanc marks the latest of 14 for Priority Health, according to a press release from the organization.
National Fitness Campaign trademarked the seven-station system in 2012. NFC’s health initiative supports more than 400 communities across the state and country, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Madison Heights, Highland Park, Lansing, Big Rapids, Traverse City and Saginaw.
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