Ranger develops program to promote physical fitness

Published 9:29 pm Thursday, July 20, 2017

When it comes to an emergency situation, only the largest state parks have designated fire trucks and an emergency staff.
In the smaller parks, such as Roan Mountain State Park, the park rangers must take on those extra duties.
In order to better prepare herself and her colleagues for a disaster, Roan Mountain State Park Park Ranger Meg Guy has set up a program she calls Park Ranger P.T., with the “P.T.” standing for Physical Training.
During a session, participants meet on the field near the cabin entrance and perform a series of bodyweight exercises to work every part of their bodies.
Although the program is called Park Ranger P.T., the sessions are open to the public.
“There’s all sorts of different things we do just to get people outside and exercising, enjoying nature, and trying to get fit at the same time,” Guy said. “There’s kind of been a big push for that in state parks statewide to try to encourage people to utilize their state parks, not only for fishing, relaxing and vacationing, but also as a way for them to exercise outdoors and promote fitness.”
Aside from the bodyweight fitness sessions, Guy has also initiated a yoga program, a run club and organizes two yearly races at the park.
“As park rangers, we do a lot of different stuff!” Guy said. “We need to be prepared to handle whatever situation might come our way. We don’t know when we wake up in the morning what we’re going to be asked to do that day. Maybe we’re going to be called to do a medical and we might have to lift or roll a patient. That takes physical strength and stamina.”
The program is designed to be family-friendly and accessible to everyone. Since the exercises are strictly based on bodyweight, no weights or equipment are required.
For more information on Park Ranger P.T., or any of the other programs available at Roan Mountain State Park, contact the park at 423-772-0190.Ranger develops program
to promote physical fitness

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