Regional website helps residents find healthier placesDid you make a New Year’s resolution to be more physically active and lose weight? If so, you are not alone.
By: Susan Brace-Adkins, The Republican Eagle
Did you make a New Year’s resolution to be more physically active and lose weight? If so, you are not alone.
Over the years, losing weight and being more physically active have been listed as two of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions. More than 45 percent of American adults make resolutions each year. While many resolutions are not kept, research indicates that people who make resolutions are more likely to meet their goals than those who don’t.
So, if you are one of those folks who have resolved that you want to get fit and lose weight this year, here is a great resource in your community to do just that.
Turning to the web
GoSoutheastMN.com is an interactive web-based mapping application that allows site visitors to locate places — such as parks and trails — to be active throughout southeast Minnesota counties. Visitors can also locate healthy eating features such as community gardens and farmers markets throughout southeast Minnesota.
In 2010, 11 counties in southeast Minnesota received funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Project to develop this mapping application. These counties include Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha and Winona.
Over the last year, public health, GIS and planning staff from counties and cities have worked to gather data on parks, trails, community gardens and farmers markets, and put this information into this interactive map.
Searching in the map
Once you enter the mapping application at GoSoutheastMN.com, you can use pre-defined searches to find parks, lakes, streams, trails, transit stations, community support agriculture areas, community gardens and farmers markets.
You can also search for a specific activity such as cross-country skiing, archery, disc golf and more. In the map’s upper right hand corner is the option of searching by keyword for a specific park or facility if you know the name, or a specific feature such as “golfing.”
You can also search to be within a specified distance of a certain address or neighborhood anywhere from a quarter of a mile to up to 20 miles. There is even a mobile application of this interactive map for smart phones: Just go to your app store and search for “Go Southeast MN” and you will be able to download the free mobile application that is available for most smartphones.
So as you move into the next month and those New Year’s resolutions seem harder to maintain, check out GoSoutheastMN.com.
Take advantage of this mild weather and find a park or trail for walking or hiking. Or, if the snow does finally arrive, maybe cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
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