Monday, August 13, 2012

Park Chelsea's Walking Trails

Creating Park Chelsea's Walking Trails

Park Chelsea is in the process of creating   park walking trails.  Each trails will be designed to incorporate the outdoor space opportunities that have been created by the   NYC Parks Department's  parks and playgrounds, , NYC Department of City Planning's  Privately Owned Public Spaces(POPS) and NYC Department of Transportation's Public Plaza programs. . By doing so we will be integrating  Chelsea's  stand alone public outdoor spaces into a seating and recreation network for Park Chelsea's park walking trails.

Creating Age Friendly Park Walking Trails

   You can walk further distances the more places that you have to sit along the way,” Block said. “That’s why we think benches are wonderful in communities...”- Dorian Block, of the New York Academy of Medicine    link

Taking our cue from Dr. Block all of Park Chelsea's Walking Trails have been designed with places to sit on the trail.

In the The NY Academy of Medicine Report Towards an Age Friendly NYC  , it was said- “...The lack of benches along public walkways was also mentioned frequently. One focus group participant said, “There used to be a place where we could just rest and sit together.” Another reported, “We need more benches people can grab onto as they walk down the street. You can see people gripping the storefronts for stability.” Nearly two-thirds of respondents to the constituent feedback form indicated that benches for resting are “very important” to the well-being of older New Yorkers..

 To reach the goal of making our park walking trails Age Friendly,  in addition to existing seating areas on the walking trails, Park Chelsea will be requesting benches to be scattered throughout  our trails through the NYC Department of Transportation's Citybench program.

 Good signage increases walking

Many people avoid walking if it requires them to navigate through an unfamiliar
The sense of the unknown - how long will it take, where a street leads to -
creates ‘risk’, especially of getting lost or increased journey times. Legible London 

I talked to a staff member at the Fulton Senior Center on 16th street,  who said that a lot of people don't like to go below 23rd Street-Ranger Bob 

   Making Our Walks Interesting

"Several decades ago, when William H. (Holly) Whyte was doing his "street life" research and observing people walking in cities, he concluded that people will walk many blocks if the walk is interesting. Walk Appeal getting people to walk through the neighborhood


To this end we're going to try to work with local design schools  to create interesting walking trails, where graphics exhibits  will change on a regular basis.

  Walking for Health

Regular activity, like walking, is hard to beat when it
comes to keeping yourself healthy. It lowers the risk
of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis
and osteoporosis, helps keep weight in check and
boosts your mood.

There is much evidence of the benefits of walking. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh recently revealed that overweight people who walked briskly for 30 to 60 minutes a day lost weight even if they didn't change any other lifestyle habits.

Another American study found that people who walked for at least four hours a week gained less weight (an average nine pounds less) than couch potatoes as they got older. Last year, researchers at the University of Colorado found that regular walking helped to prevent peripheral artery disease (which impairs blood flow in the legs and causes leg pain in one-fifth of elderly people).
Walking can even prevent colds and more

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts medical school found that people who walked every day had 25 percent fewer colds than those who were sedentary.

Because walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it can also help prevent the bone disease osteoporosis.
"Bones are like muscles in the way that they get stronger and denser the more demands you place on them," Knight says. "The pull of a muscle against a bone, together with the force of gravity when you walk, will stress the bone -- which responds by stimulating tissue growth and renewal." 

Best of all, walking makes you feel good about yourself. "For people suffering from depression, walking three to four times a week for 30 minutes has been shown to enhance their mood," says Knight.



Big Apple Senior Strollers

Walk NYC
s a seasonal, age-friendly, program that encourages New Yorkers of all ages to get fit while enjoying the outdoors. Reach your goal of walking 10,000 steps a day and meet other people who are also looking for the same fitness benefits.


See also Park Chelsea News walking Trails