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Get Your Tail off the Couch and onto the D&L Trail

Spring is Finally Here! St. Luke’s Encourages You to

Get Your Tail off the Couch and onto the D&L Trail

 

Combine winter’s cold, ice and snow with layers of bulky clothing that hide extra pounds; it’s understandable why you preferred the couch and a warm blanket to the frigid outdoors. But spring is here and there is no better time to get up and move!

St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) encourage you to get your tail off the couch and onto the nearest trail, says Kenneth Szydlow, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations, St. Luke’s University Health Network. The organizations are working together to spur local residents to become healthier through the “Get Your Tail on the Trail!” initiative.

The brainchild of Szydlow, SLUHN Community Health Department Director Dr. Bonnie Coyle and Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor President Elissa M. Garofalo, the initiative provides participants with prize incentives for logging miles along the 165-mile D&L Trail.

Participants can register by visiting www.tailonthetrail.org and completing a short form. Formerly covered with railroad tracks, the recreational trail follows the route anthracite coal took from mine to market, winding along the banks of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers. “The initiative has been a great opportunity to work with like-minded people who also want to encourage area residents to become more active by using the trails,” Garofalo said. “Thanks to St. Luke’s, the initiative has been much more successful than we could have hoped.”

Szydlow encourages people not to be deterred by the late winter/early spring weather, saying the trails are beautiful this time of year. “Those who brave the cold are rewarded with sights of water gurgling through partially frozen rivers. Also, without the leaves and other greenery, the views are amazing.”

Dr. Coyle added that while enjoying the trail’s beauty, people are also becoming fitter. All one needs to get started is a good pair of shoes or boots.

“Just getting out and walking 30 minutes a couple of times a week can have tremendous health benefits in how you feel today and can prevent problems in the future,” she says. “It’s important that our bodies move. We are meant to be active.”

Walking, running and biking are all popular ways to enjoy the trail. When the snow falls, people enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

“The trails have a very wide appeal due in part to the relatively flat grade and the fact that there are no cars, only some road crossings,” says Garofalo. “As a result, everyone from babies in strollers to older folks can enjoy them.”

In addition to physical benefits, getting active outdoors also boosts one’s mental health by fighting off the melancholy brought on by winter’s long dark days, Dr. Coyle says.

“It gives you more energy, helps you manage your weight, and brightens your mood,” she says. “What could be better than that.”

 Join the Movement

Want to join the more than 2,450 participants who have already taken the 165 Mile Challenge and registered for the “Tail on the Trail” program? Visit www.tailonthetrail.org for updates. Join the facebook page at www.facebook.com/tailonthetrail. Get ready to log those miles and earn your prizes!