The Andover Health Division has launched a new initiative to encourage residents to exercise by taking advantage of free local resources.
Andover in Motion — available online by clicking the link at http://andoverma.gov/health/ — is an offshoot of the popular “Mass in Motion” program offered through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The new, local link connects people to a page with information highlighting the importance of exercise as well as directions on how to access various walking and biking routes throughout Andover. Links to sites such as the Andover Trails website and the Andover Historical Society are provided for convenience.
The town’s GIS website will also help residents map and measure their own walking routes if they choose. An easy click and drag system is described in the document.
The Andover in Motion program was put together by a couple interns as part of a project for the Health Division.
Health officials say both childhood and adult obesity rates have been on the rise, and with that comes an increase in many preventable illnesses and poor health outcomes. The new website is designed to encourage people to exercise regularly and demonstrate that gym memberships are not necessary to stay fit.
Residents are urged to pick three or four routes to walk or bike each week. Officials say not only with the outings get people’s energy level up, it will allow them to enjoy their community more as well.