Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Mountain Spring, Palisadoes among popular exercise spots

Published:Tuesday | August 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Clarence and Jennifer Dwyer with their son, Aaron, in Hope Pastures, St Andrew on July 30.
From left: Samantha Allen (background), Simone Smith, and Paulette Hendricks running along the Palisadoes strip on July 30.
Liam Dwyer going up Mountain Spring in St Andrew.
Liam Dwyer going up Mountain Spring in St Andrew.

Where are the best spots to go to for outdoor exercise? Mountain Spring in St Andrew and the Palisadoes Strip in Kingston were some of the most populated areas when it came to finding Jamaicans getting in a good workout as The Gleaner made its way around the Corporate Area last week.

Fitness seekers indicated that health issues and needing an avenue to relieve stress were among the top factors that propelled them to keep active.

"It (Mountain Spring) has a lot of slopes, but we like a challenge, and we love the adventure, so Mountain Spring is nothing for us. I find that even if I don't want to lift weights in the gym, this location works as the slopes still provide that challenge," said Georgia Balfour, who had just completed a number of laps at Mountain Spring.

She added: "For us, exercise is a passion. It is an outlet to destress. When I was going up, my running partner was telling me that it was a terrible day, but by the time she was done, all of that was erased. It's the same for me. I can feel really stressed and demotivated, but once I don't follow that voice in my head that says, 'I'm too tired' and push myself, it makes a tremendous difference."


A pretty safe place


Gary Stewart, who was at the same location, said that in addition to the challenge that the hill provides, it's close to home.

"I exercise every day. I try to burn 1,000 calories a day, and I have a little heart problem as well. I feel pretty safe in the area, and I am comfortable with the community. I wouldn't come here in the night, but I think it's a pretty safe place," he said.

At the Palisadoes Strip, Stephen Graham and his son, Zidane, saw their time in the evenings as a way to relax and reflect.

"I work downtown, so it is much easier, hence this location is perfect. The fresh air and the environment are amazing, and so I look forward to coming here in the evenings," he said.

"It is a good opportunity to have my son here with me as well because school is on holiday, so we get some time to bond," he continued.

Zidane echoed similar sentiments, saying that it was important to make fitness a lifestyle from a young age.

"I think it's cool to be here enjoying the walk and at the same time, keeping fit. It's a great environment."