The City of Lacey has opened a new fitness trail that is well situated and could be a lifesaver for those who use it.
The Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) Trail is designed to help people with their balance, strength and flexibility, which, in turn, can reduce the risk of injurious falls.
The trail, which is installed along an existing paved trail that runs along Long’s Pond at Woodland Creek Community Park, features eight signs that serve as exercise stations offering simple instructions on how to do arm circles, squats, lunges, standing pushups and other exercises to improve fitness.
The project is the brain child of David Hughes, who is coordinator of the Falls Prevention Program for Physicians of Southwest Washington, an independent association with some 300 members in Thurston and Lewis counties.
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The trail is located near the Lacey Senior Center, making it convenient for seniors who want to work on their overall physical health and reduce the risk of falls. But the fitness trail is designed for all ages.
“We’re working the body from head to toe with flexibility, strength and balance, all key components to better balance and safety all the way around,” Hughes said.
The project has a strong supporting cast, including:
• The Lacey Parks Board, which endorsed the project late last year after Hughes made a project proposal to board members.
• The Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging provided a $750 grant to help build the exercise station signs.
• The 21st Cargo Transfer Company at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which has been working on Lacey parks projects one day a month since March, provided 10 soldiers to work with city employees on trail construction.
• Members of St. Andrews United Methodist Church serve coffee, juice and doughnuts to the soldiers on the mornings they work at the parks.
Far too often, a fall late in life sends the health of a senior citizen into irreversible decline. Any project designed to ward off those life-threatening falls is worthy of community support.
Lacey in particular and South Sound in general continues to be popular for the elderly to relocate and live through their golden years. Here’s hoping this is just the first of several SAIL trails to grace South Sound parks.