The “Get Your Tail on the Trail” program offered by St. Luke’s University Health Network and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is off and running for its sixth year. The program challenges participants to log 165 miles of outdoor exercise such as walking, hiking, running, biking or paddling from May 1 to Nov. 4.
A kickoff event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, at the Allentown Canal Park Trailhead along the D&L Trail headed toward Bethlehem. The address is 538 S. Albert Street in Allentown. After a short welcome presentation, participants can join St. Luke’s professionals and choose a bike ride (7.8 miles), run (3 miles) or walk (2 miles) along the D&L Trail.
The kick-off event is free, but participants are asked to register online.
“Get Your Tail on the Trail” participants register for free as an individual or as part of an organization at TailOnTheTrail.org and log the miles that they walk, run, hike, bike or paddle, or any other continuous activity they participate in for 10 minutes or more. While the program doesn’t require participants to exercise exclusively on the nearly continuous 165-mile D&L Trail, it is the centerpiece of the program. The trail stretches from Wilkes-Barre south to Bristol, Bucks County.
In addition to the 165-Mile Challenge that runs from May to November, there are special events throughout the year, including bike and hike outings, health fairs, history walks and more.
Since the program was launched in 2013, more than 6,000 participants have logged more than 3 million miles. Those who complete the challenge receive a reward. Past rewards have included T-shirts, backpacks and rain capes.
Goal is to encourage healthy lifestyles
“Our goal is real simple: To get people outside and get them active,” said Todd Nemura, St. Luke’s Healthy Living Program Coordinator. “We want people to be physically active because it is one of the best ways to prevent chronic disease. There’s a good deal of data that show that if you exercise 150 minutes a week, you’re going to have better health outcomes overall.”
Nemura said the program is purposefully simple. “If fitness is complicated, people won’t do it,” he said. “We make it simple because we want to eliminate the barriers.”
One of the reasons St. Luke’s partnered with D&L is that exercising outdoors has proven to be healthier than exercising indoors, Nemura said.
“Whether it’s the sunshine, fresh air, varied terrain or social connectedness because you are more likely to be in a group, the benefits of outdoor exercise are backed by research,” he said. “And we have this fantastic resource right in our backyard–the D&L Trail–so all of our events and promotions of the program, also promote the trail.”
For more information about the “Get Your Tail on the Trail” program, visit TailOnTheTrail.org.
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.