St. Charles Park District: Haines, Sportsplex provide winter walking locations

Residents can improve their days with steps and a smile. That’s the message from the St. Charles Park District, which encourages residents to take advantage of the indoor walking locations at Haines Gymnasium and Sportsplex this winter.

Whether you’re improving your fitness or just need a break, Haines and Sportsplex offer different times for indoor walking from December through March. Residents are free. The nonresident fee is $3 at each location.

If you’re a morning person, kick-start your day from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a walk at Sportsplex, 1400 Foundry St. Walking 10.5 laps along the outer edge of the turf field equals one mile.

If walking later in the day is more convenient, Haines, 305 S. Ninth St., is the place to be. From noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, you can get your steps in during a lunch break or before picking the children up from school. At Haines, 13 laps around the gym is a half-mile.

“Walking is such great exercise,” said Sabrina Hunley, Community Center supervisor. “It increases your heart and lung fitness and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. It even improves your balance.”

Haines and Sportsplex provide options to walk indoors, but when winter weather cooperates, head into the fresh air and onto one of the regularly plowed trails at these parks: Fox Chase, Harvest Hills, James O. Breen Community, Mount St. Mary and Pottawatomie.

Turn your fitness routine up a notch and explore the outdoors on unplowed trails via cross country skiing, hiking or snowshoeing.

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