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 The OPC is now home to an outdoor exercise park with a cushioned and smooth surface.

The OPC is now home to an outdoor exercise park with a cushioned and smooth surface.

Photo provided by the OPC


Outdoor adult fitness park opens at the OPC

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published January 21, 2020

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ROCHESTER — Seniors who want to switch up their fitness routines in the new year can head to the new outdoor adult fitness center at the Older Persons’ Commission.

As the population of those 50 years and older grows in the Rochester area, OPC officials said the need for adaptive programs and exercise is also increasing.

By creating an outdoor exercise park with a cushioned and smooth surface on the building premises, OPC officials said low-mobility seniors now have access to fresh air and engaging exercise. Located on the lower level of the OPC, the outdoor fit park contains six stations of equipment — chest presses, double ellipticals, sit-up benches, captain’s chairs, and other cardio and strength devices — which allows for both casual usage as well as circuit training.

“It’s specifically designed for seniors to help promote balance, flexibility, and overall health and wellness,” OPC Marketing and Development Specialist Colleen Burtka explained.

Each piece of equipment is Americans with Disabilities Act accessible, low impact and provides modified exercises for individuals at any level seeking to better their health.

Burtka said the fitness park was installed just before the weather turned cold, so not many people have had a chance to test it out.

“We’re really excited for this spring, to really be able to get people out there, because it’s important,” she said. “We offer so much programming in the gym and in our classes, which are inside, so it’s really nice for people to be able to take that exercise routine outside.”

OPC Health and Wellness Director Matt Spierling said he plans to offer some outdoor fitness training classes to help seniors learn how to use the equipment.

“We’re going to be doing some demos in the spring and we’re trying to program some boot camps in the spring as well,” Spierling said.

The fitness park was fully funded via a $50,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds of the Community Foundation for SE Michigan. Grants from the Community Foundation support projects and initiatives that reflect the personal passions of Wilson, a Detroit native and the founder and longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills.

Burtka said the grant was part of the Design and Access Fund, which supports projects in southeast Michigan that serve to increase the walkability and bikeability of local communities, and/or to increase outdoor recreational activities within the region.

The OPC is located at 650 Letica Drive in Rochester. For more information on the OPC, visit opcseniorcenter.org.

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