HEALTHY LIVING: 5 things to know about the parks department’s full-body workout program at the Meriden Green

HEALTHY LIVING: 5 things to know about the parks department’s full-body workout program at the Meriden Green

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MERIDEN — The Parks and Recreation Department has started a full-body workout program that is held bi-weekly at the Meriden Green.

The Record-Journal caught up with Kathy Matula, recreation coordinator for parks and recreation, and personal trainer John Zvonek at a session of “Get Going On The Green.”

Here are five things to know about the program.

Get Involved

The “Get Going On The Green” program runs for five weeks, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Twenty-five spaces are available in the program, and participants can register at the parks and recreation office at City Hall or online. 

Classes meet at the Meriden Green amphitheater.

Health benefits

Exercising outdoors provides fresh air and natural light. Zvonek said working with, and at times against, the elements can be a fun challenge.

“We want to use the park and show them what is possible to do here,” he said.

For new mother and city resident Jessy Hart, a first-time participant, the weekly workouts are a way to try a new activity.

“I’m trying to get more fit and trying to keep up the weight loss that I had postpartum,” she said.

The low-impact workout consists of continuous all-body movements. It can be modified to suit any level and any age, from 18 to 100 years old.

“They can make it as hard or as easy as they want it to be and they can work at whatever ability level they’re at,” Zvonek said.

Calorie burning and muscle toning are among the benefits of the program. Interested participants should consult their physician before starting a new workout regimen.

The workout

The class starts with a warmup and moves to a variety of low impact exercises, including high knees, planks, jogging, step-ups, bob and weaves, walking and air punches or jabs. 

There are small water breaks taken during the 45-minute class. 

Zvonek said the workout keeps everyone moving and using different muscles. 

The steps in the amphitheater are used for planks and step-ups depending on an individual’s ability.

The Green

Open to the public in 2016, the 14-acre Meriden Green has walking trails and an amphitheater for events.

“We picked this lunch break hour, there’s always people moving around here,” Matula said.

The recreation department is looking to expand programming on the green to include other seasonal activities.


Matula said the goal of the parks and recreation department is to provide healthy programming in the city’s more than 20 parks.

Besides the workout program, the recreation department will also hold a free pilates class on the green from 10 a.m., to 11 a.m., on Saturday.

Other park programs a hiking group on Thursdays through November from 4 to 6 p.m.

More information can be found by calling 203-630-4259
Twitter: @KusReporter


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