Increase Your Physical Activity to Improve Health in the New Year

— Trail Improvements Promote Physical Activity —

February 4, 2013

(BIG STONE GAP, Va.) –  In an ongoing effort to help adults and children be more active, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is working with Big Stone Gap to improve the Greenbelt Trail, a multi-use recreational trail.

“The Lenowisco Health District promotes physical activity through a variety of programs, and we are very excited to work with Big Stone Gap and VDH’s Healthy Communities Program to provide solar lights and distance markers for the trail,” said Eleanor Sue Cantrell, MD, director of the health district. “This will make the trail easier to use for a longer period of time each day.” Installation is scheduled to be complete by spring 2013.

“Trails and greenways connect parks, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and shopping areas with dedicated corridors for biking, jogging and walking, and help make routine physical activity part of our daily lives,” said Dr. Cantrell. “These improvements will increase overall use of the trail, and improve the health and well-being of our citizens.”

“This is such a boost for Big Stone Gap,” said Town Manager Pat Murphy. “This is a marvelous place to live, work and play, and we look forward to continuing to expand and enhance the Greenbelt Trail and other recreation opportunities for our residents and visitors.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults participate in physical activity at least 30 minutes a day, five days per week, and that children are active at least one hour each day, most days of the week. Regular physical activity promotes good health and reduces the risk of obesity, which can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. According to the Virginia Atlas of Community Health 2010 Report, 21 percent of adults in the Lenowisco Health District (Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the city of Norton) indicated they had not engaged in physical activity in the last 30 days, and 34 percent of children ages 10 to 17 are physically active for less than the recommended hour per day.

For more information, contact the Lenowisco Health District at 276-328-8000 or