In a bid to ensure that citizens make the most of their limit outdoor activity time, the city has begun an initiative to transform local sidewalks and paths into a winter obstacle course for everyone to enjoy.
With ample snow material provided by a harsh winter, the city plan has created areas with banks, twists, ice patches, deep powder, and unstable terrain, all meant to get hearts racing when citizens are out for a walk.
“It’s great!” Exclaimed a local citizen, “to walk from my house to my bus stop I’ve got to make it down a sheet of ice, along an area with big crumbled snow chunks, cross the street and jump at least two large snowbanks, and then trudge through about eight inches of snow for another half-block. By the time I make it to my stop I’ve worked up a sweat, and that without running to catch the bus!”
Downtown sidewalks continue the initiative, with local businesses combining to make a patchwork of obstacles that challenges all sorts. Some will clear their areas completely, leaving the way open for thin sheets of ice, while others let snow pile high to be compacted by pedestrians for a tricky snow/ice combination.
In a progressive move, this initiative is also highly effective for people with disabilities, particularly those in wheelchairs or using mobility devices.
“I’m already pretty buff,” jokes a local paraplegic, “but rolling through all this snow and slush is a pretty hardcore workout. There are days where I have to pump myself up to make the effort, because it’s like trying to drive through sand out there and it takes all my effort.”
It is hoped that the results from this first attempt will see increased health and lower cholesterol among participants. While the program is not without risk, coordinators say that some of the injuries already seen, including sprains, strains, and broken bones sustained from falls, are to be expected when people are becoming active, and should dissipate as citizens get more used to the course.