Never let it be said that the staff of the Lincoln City Parks & Recreation Department do not walk their talk. Or more accurately, walk, run and dance their talk.

While parks, open spaces and the community center are temporarily closed to the public, some plucky parks and rec employees are taking to social media to make sure the department’s goal of providing opportunities for healthy movement is still on track.

“We’re still here and trying to serve the community as best we can,” Director Jeanne Sprague said. “We’ll keep the content coming out for as long as there is a need for it.”

Virtual classes, including strength and balance, yoga and dry land training for swimmers, are accessible by searching for the Lincoln City Parks & Recreation Department on YouTube.

“We’re creating a diverse library of content to fit as many fitness levels and interests as we can,” Aquatic Fitness Specialist Lori Templeman said. “Some are classes that we do regularly but I’ve also been branching out with some cardio circuits aimed toward the average healthy adult. You can go at your own pace and level, including sitting in a chair.”

These aren’t dry, grit-your-teeth-and-get-it-done workouts; in true Lincoln City style, the staff are using this time to not only help promote a healthy lifestyle but also to make sure the people who are still keeping the wheels moving feel appreciated.

“We’re having Zoom House Dance Parties on Tuesday and Thursdays,” Templeman said. “Our first one was a thank you to our first responders. Each one is about 20 minutes of dancing to a themed playlist.”

The first Zoom dance party had a superheroes theme and was a big success.

“The screen basically looks like a bunch of Brady Bunch squares,” Templeman said. “You could see people in different outfits or with themed backgrounds and we all just danced our butts off. We are thanking our local people in the front lines and also giving them and everyone else a chance to de-stress and have some fun. I realized during the first one that I had a huge grin on my face and it was the first time I’d smiled in a week.”

The next superhero dance tribute to first responders will be on Tuesday, April 28, at 3 pm.

If the sight of superheroes dancing doesn’t make you smile, perhaps a different kind of themed workout will give you a giggle.

“We’re doing a Sunday Sweat toilet paper workout,” Templeman said. “It will be cardio and strength moves incorporating a roll of toilet paper. If we can help people get through this rough time staying healthy and maybe providing a few moments of laughter, it will have been a success.”

If you are one of the many who have found yourself with a huge break in your normal routine, this might be the perfect time to start a new regime.

Recreation Program Manager Raleigh Bartholomew, who started a popular running club last year, is also taking advantage of social media to provide an eight-week program designed to motivate people with no running experience, or get lapsed runners back on track.

“The program is perfect for complete beginners,” he said. “It starts with a mix of running and walking with the goal being the ablity to run 30 minutes without stopping. It’s a great opportunity for aspiring runners who want a guided daily workout four times a week, or for returning runners who want to get back into shape. For a great overall health program people can participate in a 30-minute running/walking workout and also join in the virtual workout and yoga classes.”

The running program is already in progress but can be started any time by going to the Lincoln City Parks & Recreation Facebook page and searching in the “Notes” tab. People can also contact Bartholomew with additional questions or more running/walking workouts at rbartholomew@lincolncity.org.

The motivated staff are committed to continuing to come up with ideas for healing folks suffering from cabin fever.

“We’re going to be posting videos about birding and gardening and even some scenic meditation videos with breathing exercises and pictures of local areas and wildlife,” Templeman said. “Anything we can come up with to brighten someone’s day and highlight the beauty of this area.”

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