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Outdoor exercise equipment is added to a local park

The Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department recently received a grant that is helping a community take a step towards a healthier lifestyle.

In mid April the Regional Health Department received a grant of $20,000 to help enhance projects or build new ones in the community.

The department spoke with the Chester Area Neighborhood association and the city of Jackson to see what needed to be done in the city.

“We want to increase the participation of this community and utilizing the park and by adding these amenities I think that will help a great deal with people coming out and exercising", says Director of the City of Jackson Recreation and Parks Department, Tony Black.

East Jackson represents about 11% of Jackson's population, but it also represents a large number of residents with health problems.

“And we discovered that this particular community has a higher increase of diabetes, heart disease, stroke. So, we thought this would be a community to implement this equipment", says the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department's Community Health Education Director, Quill Brabham.

This new equipment uses body weight to help strengthen and tone muscles.

One community member says she is glad she will have access to a good workout closer to home.

“I think it is really important that we have exercise in our community to bridge the gap of us having to travel a distance to get a healthier exercise workout", says Chester Area Neighborhood member Jackie Neal.

Since the workout equipment is outdoors it will also give residents that do not feel comfortable going inside a gym a place to still exercise.

“Working out, outside is a very good way to social distance and eliminate the risk of having to go inside of a gym", Brabham adds.

Now, officials with the city of Jackson say they have more plans for the Shirlene Mercer Park. Imani Williams, for 39 News, in Jackson.

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