Michigan Association of Health Plans

Madison Heights to unveil new $150K fitness court

A new fitness court adaptable to users of all ages is making its debut at a Madison Heights park this week.

The $150,000 court was funded in part by a $50,000 grant from sponsor Priority Health in partnership with the National Fitness Campaign, which developed the comprehensive Fitness Court that is now in more than 150 cities nationwide.

In Michigan the Priority Health Fitness Courts are being set up in 15 to 20 cities, from Saginaw to Roseville, over the next 18 months.

A pilot Fitness Court was constructed at Oakland University’s campus in 2019.

In Madison Heights the fitness space is opening at Huffman Park at 400 Cowan Avenue, in the area near 11 Mile and John R roads.

City Manager Melissa Marsh said resident Stephanie Sawicke tipped city officials off to the grants.

“We got the grant May 1 and we’re the first city to partner with Priority Health” on Fitness Court program, she said.

City officials and others will be on hand at 10 a.m. Friday at Huffman Park to do a ribbon cutting ceremony at the workout court.

A community event follows at 5:30 p.m. for the general public.

“It’s a way to bring physical fitness to the community for free,” Marsh said, adding that the fitness court is designed so users don’t have to have access to a lot of different physical fitness equipment to exercise or pay for gym memberships.

The Fitness Court at Huffman Park allows users to leverage their body weight to get a complete workout.

People can download a free Fitness Court app to guide them through workout routines.

There are seven different body weight exercises, from pull-ups to pushups, with different exercises on the app to guide users, Marsh said.

National Fitness seeks out people in the community to be trained to run free exercise classes on the fitness court.

Praveen Thadani, president of Priority Health, said in a statement the Michigan-based health insurance company was pleased to join with Madison Heights and National Fitness to launch the first Priority Health Fitness Court in the city.

“We believe all people deserve the opportunity to live a healthy life,” Thadani said, “That’s why we’re … supporting this partnership to reduce the barriers to free fitness and improve wellness for the neighbors of Madison Heights.”

Founded in San Francisco in 1979, National Fitness Campaign funds, promotes and activates healthy infrastructure through partnerships with cities and schools. Its Fitness Court is billed as the world’s best outdoor gym.

The NFC plans to have another 100 Fitness Courts in place at schools and cities by the end of this year.

This article originally appeared in the Royal Oak Tribune. Read more here.

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