Monday Mile Parks Passport Summer Challenge Kicks off in Sunnycrest Park

SunnycrestMMThe City of Syracuse and Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University partner with Onondaga County Parks and the Fitness Inclusion Network to launch community program to encourage physical activity.

Syracuse, N.Y. – Syracuse University’s Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and the City of Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs have partnered to launch a community-wide Monday Mile Parks Passport Summer Challenge to encourage residents to get physically active this summer with the Monday Mile.

The Monday Mile initiative began in 2012 and encourages people to walk a mile on Monday for their health.  In Onondaga County, there are seventeen marked, one-mile walking routes, many in the city and county parks.  The Monday Mile is part of the Lerner Center’s Healthy Monday initiative, which supports people using Monday as a day to start or sustain healthy behaviors in an effort to reduce the development of chronic disease.

“The Monday Mile, part of a larger campaign of public health programs using Monday as a launching pad for thinking about good health habits all week, has been a great success in Syracuse, thanks to our County and City Partners”, said Tom Dennison, Director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion.

The Monday Mile Parks Passport Summer Challenge will provide an opportunity for the community to be physically active while enjoying the beautiful parks and scenic locations in the Syracuse area.  Participants register online to receive a walking passport that lists all the Monday Mile routes and can walk on their own or join a number of walks that have been scheduled by various walking groups in the community.  When participants register, they set a fitness goal and can earn prizes for completing Monday Miles.

“The health benefits of regular physical activity are well known, and local parks serve as ideal venues for beginning or continuing with a regular routine, by providing enjoyable opportunities for exercise at no cost to residents, that are largely nearby or neighborhood-based”, said Lazarus Sims, Syracuse City Parks Commissioner.  “The Monday Mile routes and the Summer Passport Challenge fit perfectly within the Parks framework, by encouraging more active use of these true gems.  The group walks associated with the Challenge add a sense of camaraderie and teamwork while working toward fitness goals”.

Community members can also register at the kickoff event that will be held on June 15th at 11:30 a.m. in Sunnycrest Park.  Participants will be able to pick up a passport and free pedometer and walk the newest Monday Mile route in Sunnycrest Park.  This route was developed in partnership with the Fitness Inclusion Network, an organization that supports inclusive fitness opportunities for individuals with disabilities living in Central New York.

“The Fitness Inclusion Network is excited to collaborate with the Lerner Center and Syracuse Parks to promote inclusive fitness and recreational activities to all who seek a healthier lifestyle”, said Peyton Sefick, Program Coordinator with the Fitness Inclusion Network.  “Last summer Fit IN, alongside Syracuse Parks and Rec and the Lerner Center, assessed many Syracuse area parks and Monday Mile routes with accessibility in mind. This year, Fit IN is one of three programs across New York state funded by the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council’s Inclusive Fitness Initiative working to provide fitness for young adults, ages18-25, with disabilities.”

The Monday Mile Parks Passport Summer Challenge began on Monday, June 1st and will run through Monday, September 7th.  Registration is open on the Healthy Monday Syracuse website.

To learn more about the Monday Mile Parks Passport Summer Challenge and to register visit, http://healthymonday.syr.edu.

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