By Robbie Ward
TUPELO – Through a cadre of fitness experts, gurus and enthusiasts, the city of Tupelo intends to organize an hour each week of free exercise activities in city public spaces.
Mayor Jason Shelton held a fitness summit in City Hall on Thursday, partnering city goals offering healthy activities with showcasing parks and other public spaces in the city. After the meeting, a dozen or so people met up at Fairpark for a 45-minute aerobics session.
Wearing a T-shirt and exercise pants, Shelton told the group that public exercise activities would add something fun to the community. He told them to think of any idea that could appeal to the public, from kids to senior citizens.
“It’s OK if it breaks a mold,” he said. “I want people to have a fun, positive vibe about the city of Tupelo.”
With the group in the room talking about healthy activities, exercise and nutrition, the meeting turned into a brainstorming session. One person suggested sharing healthy recipes, and another person mentioned a lesson of ballroom dancing. A third mentioned a family fun day.
The activities will take place at different times and places. City of Tupelo communications director Sarah Robinson said events will be advertised through social media and other outlets.
Also part of the fitness initiative, four seniors at Tupelo High School have partnered with the city with fitness in public places idea. They’ll have a zombie 5k race at 7 p.m. Oct. 29.
All proceeds from the race’s $10 entry fee will go toward the city’s Healthy Task Force.
Andrew White, one of the THS students organizing the 5k and three other fitness events, said the idea blends creating a sense of community with many direct health benefits of exercise.
“I feel like people are in better moods when they exercise,” he said.