A one-mile Fitness Trail snaking through the trees on the edge of Hinds Community College’s Raymond Campus represents commitment in many ways.
For student Seth Roberts, it’s a commitment to making healthier choices at the table.
“Lots of students are of the mindset of ‘What will be for lunch today?’ or ‘Who’s cooking?’. Roberts, of Clinton, said the trail’s opening means he has a healthy activity to spend time away from studies.“It’s about coming out here at lunch instead of watching TV or, instead of having five or six slices of pizza, having a salad,” Roberts said. “If I’m on campus on weekends and can’t leave, I can just walk around the walking trail.”
Roberts and others spoke Tuesday at an event to officially open the trail to the public, which encircles the campus tennis court and soccer fields and winds through the disc golf course. It was financed by parts of a $202,000 wellness grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi as part of the Healthy Hinds Campus & Community initiative. The funds enabled other efforts in the past year to promote better health choices on campus.
“Congratulations are in order to Hinds Community College and the Healthy Hinds initiative,” said Sheila Grogan, executive director of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. “We encourage them to continue this effort on campus and expand your resources into the surrounding schools and community.”
The trail features three exercise stations where people can do push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups and similar exercises on parallel bars, strength and stretch bars, pull-up bars, uneven bars and more.
LouAnne Askew, a retired longtime Hinds employee and Raymond alderwoman, encouraged students and faculty to use the trail as a way to decompress after a rigorous day of classes.
“Even better than that, put your tennis shoes in your car and, when you get off work, come down here and take a long walk,” Askew said. “Just think of how peaceful it’s going to be. It’s my hope that the many citizens of Raymond who’ll take advantage of this wonderful trail.
Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse noted his own exercise regimen in the Troy Arlis Ricks Wellness Center through the years as being instrumental in improving health and wellness on campus.
“A long time ago, I made the decision on a commitment to healthy living,” Muse said. “I’m convinced had I not been doing that all of these years, I wouldn’t be here today.”