FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Fort Wayne resident Taylor Smith has been on a wellness kick for a while.
“Ever since I went vegan about 6 years ago, I’ve always been just trying to better myself physically, mentally, spiritually, that kind of thing,” Smith said.
He and Ronan Smyth went downtown on Wednesday to work out at the fitness park outside the community center.
“We were looking for a place we could do some pull-ups and stuff like that,” Smyth said. “It’s cool to have a place for adults and people to work out. And it’s really accessible to everyone and I think it’s really neat.”
Dr. NiCole Keith, a kinesiology professor at IUPUI recently conducted a study that ranked Fort Wayne as the 78th fittest city in the country
She said exercise has more than just physical benefits.
“It increases brain blood flow, which not only improves your emotion but also your ability to make decisions, your ability to think, and it’s associated to reduced depression,” she said.
Chuck Reddinger of the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation department says the parks in Fort Wayne and the downtown community center offer plenty of opportunities for physical activities.
“They do classes out here, but inside there are other fitness classes, as well as art and enrichment kind of activities,” he said. “A drop-in place for seniors ages 50 and older but for all ages to come and be active.”
Not only does Fort Wayne have parks, there are also over 120 miles of trails throughout Allen County.
They’re perfect for walking, running and biking, according to Fort Wayne Trails Executive Director Megan McClellan.
“Yesterday I commuted to work from my house on my bicycle,” she said. “I walked to this interview with my dog, just walking on the trails. I love them just for that transportation.”
She said during the pandemic, people used the trails more when gyms closed.
“They’re still out using the trails,” McClellan said. “And I think it’s really a good sign that people are just incorporating physical fitness into their everyday activities.”
Dr. Keith said physical activity is for everyone.
“You’re never too old to be physically active,” Keith said. “You’re never too young. It doesn’t matter what your body looks like. Everybody should be physically active.”