Fitness Trails- what are they and how do they help you get fit?

The Fitness Trail is an exercise circuit designed to improve the aerobic and muscular fitness of men, women and children.  They were inspired by Swiss exercise trail called the Vita Parcours.  With the backing of the Vita Insurance Company more than 400 course have been built-in Switzerland.  The idea spread quickly to Europe.  When the Fitness Trails arrived in the United States they where originally  designed for the U.S. Forest Service.  The trails have become so popular that they have been constructed on city/ county park land as well as school grounds and made available to the general public to use.

The Fitness Trail consists of 7 dual-purpose exercise stations along a 1/4 miles jogging path.  Participants walk/jog between the stations, complete the exercise, and continue on until they have finished the course.  Signs at each station describes and illustrates how each exercise should be done.

The trail can fit on as little as 2 acres of land and cost less than $1000  in materials to construct.  The trail is ideal for everyone from the individual trying to get in a workout or a group training together.  It can be used by all ages.  You progress at your own pace and do as few or as many repeats of the exercises as you want.  It offers a physical challenge regardless of age or conditioning and the chance to improve fitness and health while having fun.

There are 14 exercise activities along the 1/4 mile trail.  Jog along the trail to strengthen your heart, lungs and legs.  Build muscle strength by performing the exercises.  Or do both the get an all around fitness.

Exercise Stations

  1. Chin-ups: Pull up till the chin is over the bar and return to hanging position.  Beginners can keep their feet on the ground.
  2. Log Hop: Face the length of the log, hop sideways across log, repeat hop back across the log.
  3. Squat Jump: Squat until legs are at 90 degree angle, jump high switch position of feet on the way down and jump again.
  4. Dips: Grasp bar and support your weight on your arms, lower body until elbows are at about a 90 degree angle and return.
  5. Hurdles
  6. Sit-ups: Curls up to a sitting position and touch right elbow to left knee and return. Repeat alternating right and left elbow touches.  More advanced individuals can raise the board to increase resistance.
  7. Bench Blast: with right foot on the bench, blast off.  Switch position of feet on the way down.
  8. Basket Hang: While hanging on the bar raise legs into “basket” of the your chest  and return.
  9. Log Walk: walk the length of the log, start over if you fall off.
  10. Push-Ups: Push up keep your back straight and return down until chest your chest almost touches deck.
  11. Bar Walk: Supporting your weight on your arms, hand walk the length of the bars or as far as possible.
  12. Vault: Vault over the bar of your choice
  13. Leg Lift: While laying on your back lift your legs slowly to 90 degree angle, then slowly return down and repeat.
  14. Step up: Step up and down on the bench as fast as possible, do indicated number (from sign) and change lead legs.
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