Campus, city, county debut one-mile walking loops as part of Healthy Monday

September 10, 2012

New signs designed by students and staff who are part of the Healthy Monday Syracuse team at SU are making it easy for people to find and follow a series of mile-long walking loops located in city and county parks, connecting City Hall to the County Office Building in downtown Syracuse, and on the campuses of SUNY Upstate Medical University and SU. To debut the walking loops, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner issued a joint proclamation declaring Monday, Sept. 10, Move it Monday Day.

Healthy Monday SyracuseMayor Miner and County Executive Mahoney presented the proclamation in front of the trail beginning at City Hall and then were joined by other city and county officials as they walked the one mile trail through downtown.

The signage was also paid for by Healthy Monday Syracuse, which was made possible by the generous support of its benefactor, Syracuse University alumnus Sid Lerner ’53, who founded the Monday campaigns, and his wife, Helaine.

“Sid and Helaine have supported and developed a public health tool of remarkable power through the Monday Campaigns,” Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor says. “The campaigns are active in dozens of countries, and it’s critical that the campaigns have that impact right here in Syracuse and Onondaga County. The Monday Mile loops and other accomplishments of the Healthy Monday Syracuse team—which is based out of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at the Maxwell School—go a long way toward realizing that goal.”

“The signage is a wonderful addition to our city parks, marking off what for most people will be an easy-but-healthful 30-minute workout,” Mayor Stephanie Miner said of the signs being installed at Thornden, Burnet and Upper Onondaga parks. “The route downtown will also be great, especially for workers and downtown residents. It helps emphasize that walking is a great way to get around center city Syracuse, and it’s good for you, too.”

The county park loops are at Beaver Lake Nature Center, Highland Forest, Jamesville Beach and Onondaga Lake Park.
“The park loops will encourage new people to come to our parks to walk and inspire those already getting their exercise in the county parks,” County Executive Joanie Mahoney said. “The mile distance is long enough to provide health benefits and short enough that it should be easy for almost everyone to participate.”

The science backs Mahoney on that claim, says SUNY Upstate President David Smith. “The weekly exercise recommendation for adults is 150 minutes a week,” Smith says. “Break that down to just five days a week—that’s only 30 minutes—about the time it would take you to walk a mile. You don’t need a gym or work out attire to take this nearby walk to better health.”

Healthy Monday is the umbrella term for a collection of national public health campaigns that focus on reducing chronic, preventable diseases such as heart attack and stroke by getting people to exercise more, stop smoking and cut back on eating animal fat. The campaigns include Move it Monday, Meatless Monday and Quit & Stay Quit Monday.