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Fitness in the great outdoors – what could be better?

Fluvanna has a new fitness trail at the Eastern Trailhead along the Sandy Beach Trail off Route 53.

“I’m absolutely delighted it’s finished,” said Virginia Foster, secretary of the Heritage Trail Foundation. The Fluvanna nonprofit is responsible for the many trails along the Rivanna River, Pleasant Grove and the Eastern Trailhead.

The Foundation provided $10,000 from its membership dues to purchase the equipment for the trail, said Marvin Moss, Foundation president.
After studying several fitness or par course trails in Richmond and Northern Virginia, Foster said the group settled on a 10-station course that “looked rustic enough to fit our location.”

The idea for fitness courses took root in Europe, when Frenchman Georges Hébert developed his so-called “natural method” of fitness training in the early 1900s. He believed it was most beneficial to train in the outdoors using natural barriers to develop muscle and movement skills.
Fitness trails can be as strenuous or gentle as designers choose.

The Fluvanna Fitness trail is along the Sandy Beach Trail, which is a “trail anyone can access,” said Aaron Spitzer, director of Fluvanna parks and recreation.
It features many stations that include stretching components along with balance and muscle development.
“It’s another way to exercise and get fit,” Spitzer said.

Moss said he walked the trail and did several of the “less strenuous” stations.

Spitzer, parks and recreation employees, volunteers and county public works employees all worked to install the equipment. A group from Hands On Fluvanna plans to add mulch around the stations, Spitzer said.

Foster and Moss said a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony is in the works to formally introduce the public to the trail.