Fitness trail unveiled on campus

The trail is part of AU’s partnership with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign

Fitness trail unveiled on campus

Students looking to exercise and unwind on campus will now have a new option: a fitness trail.

AU has launched a two-mile fitness trail as part of the Partnership for a Healthier America's Healthier Campus Initiative.The trail runs around the perimeter of campus, with distance markers at half-mile intervals.

AU became one of 25 schools to sign up for the partnership last year, which is part of first lady Michelle Obama’s broader Let’s Move initiative. The partnership works to help colleges and universities implement guidelines that build a healthier on-campus environment.

“I think it will bring more of a sense that we are an active campus to the students,” said AU Dietitian Jo-Ann Jolly, who was in charge of organizing the trail. “It just reinforces the fact that AU cares about health and wellness and gives people a reason to be active”.

The trail map can be found on the RecFit Website, and can be downloaded as a PDF or accessed through your phone on Google Maps. At every marker, the Google Map tool will suggest a fitness exercise or mindful activity to do, enhancing the experience.

“It’s really interactive,” Jolly said “We hope it will encourage our students to go outside. We’re so lucky to have so much outdoor space since we’re in a big city.”

Michael Mastrota, the facilities management landscape architect at AU who designed the trail, acknowledged that there were some challenges along the way.

“Due to steep slopes and stairs on some portions of the route, not all parts are accessible [to those who are disabled].” Mastrota said. To overcome this problem, sections of the trail that are accessible have been identified by a dashed line on the map.

AU has committed to meet 23 guidelines as part of its health initiative, the fitness trail being one of them. The next guideline that they’ll tackle this school year will be to implement an integrated, comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus.

The trail has been well-received by many on campus, and students seem excited about utilizing it, including business major Ophilia Phu.

“I think it's a great idea by AU,” Phu said. “They manage to merge making the most of the university grounds with exercise which I think is a cool idea. Hopefully I'll be able to find somebody to do it with me!”

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