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Outdoor fitness equipment installed along waterfront

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If you’ve been walking along the waterfront this past week, you might have noticed something new.

One year after the town approved the project, two pieces of exercise equipment have been installed at the Sorting Gap Marina, just adjacent to the kids’ playground.

The equipment was paid for courtesy of a New Horizons grant the Northwestern Health Unit had received.

The health unit has been in a partnership with the town for this project, working closely with a collective of local organizations interested in social, educational, active, and safe recreation opportunities for seniors.

These include the Community Garden Commitee, the Energetic Adults Getting Exercise Regularly: Beginning Wave of Busy Baby-Boomers (EAGER Bs), and Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (S.A.L.T.)

Although the two installed machines are now available for use, the grant funded enough money for four machines.

As such, two additional pieces will be installed in the near future.

“We have two more pieces to go in and we are contemplating the location of both at this current time,” said Community Services manager Jason Kabel.

“They likely won’t be in the same location,” he noted.

“One will be a little bit further east towards Williams Avenue and the other will likely be further west, just beyond the ‘Hallett.’”

The freshly-installed machines feature a leg press and a press-pull for the upper body.

The design is engineered so the resistance training is entirely dependent on the weight of the person using it.

That way, someone of any physical fitness level will be able to use it and still get a good workout.

Elaine Fischer, a health promoter with the health unit office here, has been heavily involved with this project.

She said the two other machines will consist of a “double ski trainer,” for cardio, and a multi-component piece for pull-ups, sit-ups, and arm dips.

Fischer said she decided on the brand and design of the equipment, along with what exercises, by seeking out expert sources.

“We actually spoke to a couple of communities that have the pieces and worked with the fitness trainers through the town,” she explained.

And because it was a seniors’ grant, Fischer said they took into consideration what that demographic wanted out of the equipment.

“Something that the seniors said was important to them was the ability to be with someone else,” she noted.

“And we really liked the option of more than one person being able to exercise at once on the machine, so that is one of the main features in the design.”

Kabel said there’s a possibility of ordering more equipment after all four pieces are installed, but noted that decision will be based on how much the equipment is used.

For her part, Fischer stressed the importance of using the new machines given the declining rates in physical activity.

“We are hoping that people will incorporate these pieces into their walk because it does focus on the strength component,” she remarked.

“It’s geared for the general public, just to maintain some muscular strength, and it uses your own body weight,” Fischer noted.

“They are safe.

“Our population of all ages is not active enough, and this is another means of encouraging people to get outside and be more active and look at the different fitness components for overall health,” she stressed.

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