Category Archives: Community Recreation

Covid-19 Social Distancing – “Exercise Activity Plan B”


On 18 March 2020, I showed up to the front door of a fitness center I frequently use. They were allowing 25 members in at a time to comply with Covid-19 social distancing rules. Regardless, the gym was closed the next day until further notice. Since my wife and value daily exercise, we pulled out Exercise Activity Plan B.

On 19 March which was a Thursday, we walked to Dirksen Nature Park and made use of the outdoor fitness center. The weather was beautiful and people were out in numbers like we’ve never seen before. In-between exercise sets, we noticed a huge mass of parents and children intermingled throughout the playground area. I said, “There are a lot of parents off from work and children out of school. I don’t think children tumbling around other parent’s children is safe from covid-19.” It was obvious to us the public health message – avoid close contact to prevent the spread of an aggressive virus had connected with parents. Apparently city officials noticed.

Dirksen Nature Park, Tigard OR

Two days later, I wasn’t surprised when they shut down basketball courts and playgrounds. Tigard police announced on Twitter and other public notice media over the weekend, “You can access the rest of our parks but we ask that you avoid congregating in groups.”

If you’re feeling cabin fever and need an outdoor break, most public use recreational amenities are accessible. Just avoid congregating in them and respect social distances. I think this is a great opportunity for drone, plane or remote control car toy hobbyist who want to brush up on their skills in public use green space. Or create your own plan B exercise activity to explore nature, walk the dogs, or just reconnect with a significant other. If everyone does their part to comply with social distancing rule, the bulk of Tigard parks and trail systems will remain open for everyone to enjoy.

Tigard, OR .75 Heritage Trail Runs from Main Street to Tiedeman along Tigard Street.

One of my favorite Plan B exercise strategies is to use Tigard’s newly paved 10’+ wide ~.75 mile Heritage trail system. This is a great place to roller blade, bike, and jog, walk the dog and perform basic exercises, etc., in a safe environment. Park your car downtown and access the trail at Tigard and Main Street. Local business also need your support. Support them by purchasing to-go food services for outdoor picnics and trail treks.

Heritage Trail Entrance at Tigard, OR Main Street – Next to Chamber Building.

Get innovative and creative with outdoor exercise, play safe and stay healthy by following Covid-19 guidelines and related city policies and we all win.

For daily updates and impact on city services and public use facilities visit Tigard City Website corona update link: Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a Fit Healthy Lifestyle Consultant with MirrorAthlete Corp., and former Tigard City Councilor. A strong proponent of City involvement in expanding recreation opportunities for everyone. 2020 copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete and free monthly newsletter, visit:

Committee Forms to Expand Recreation Opportunities in Tigard


Above: Tigard Community Recreation Committee (TCRC) [L to R]: Marland Henderson, Connie Ramaekers, Neal Brown, Patti Atkins, Marc Woodard and Gabi Miller comprise the TCRC committee.

Updated: 1/11/2020 by Marc Woodard

Tigard Community Recreation Committee (TCRC) is a not for profit committee of citizens with a goal of expanding city recreation opportunities for everyone. The committee is working on a plan to raise enough money to construct a community recreation facility in Tigard — run by the YMCA.

Why the YMCA? The YMCA has a 175-year history of operating more than 2,700 facilities, serving 45 million people worldwide, and there is no other community recreation builder that competes with cost and excellence of services, programs, activities and community engagement and outreach. Everyone regardless of age, economics and/or lifestyle orientation is welcome.

There are many reasons Tigard needs to expand community recreation opportunities for everyone.

Recreation saves lives just like police officers but in different ways. It is true, when youth are provided safe and organized after-school activities of interest juvenile theft, vandalism, drug use and other mischief decrease, while purposeful and productive lifestyles flourish. This can be validated through year-after-year police incident analysis, community health surveys and city recreation polls.

While safety is important, it is usually not the main reason someone moves to a city. Today we (parks and recreation] are everything from drowning prevention to after-school care for children, to the only social interaction a senior citizen might experience [South University, 2019]. For many that use recreation facilities these places provide not only social interaction, but a real sense of belonging to community through connections that bond people – in ways that’s good for developing cities.

Regular engagement in physical activity is an essential component of healthy well-being aging. Physical activity improves physical function and provides social and mental health benefits that all contribute to improved quality of life for older adults [NRPA, 2019]. Recreation programs provide places for health and well-being that are accessible by persons of all ages and abilities, especially to those with disabilities. [NRPA, 2010].

For the sake of health and wellness justice affordable health literacy education and recreational activity should be made available to everyone, not just the affluent.

Throughout the nation young people are facing an obesity crisis. Today we are seeing too many diseases that were, not too long ago, rarely linked to young people (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) [Stanford, 2015]. Cities that fill recreation youth-gap activities K-12 schools no longer provide are more attractive to parents, active seniors and business looking to live active and productive lifestyles in safe places.

“To learn more about TCRC, visit our booth co-located with Tigard Turns the Tide (TTT) at the Tigard Street Fair September 7th, or our website at

Good health to you and your family.

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a Fit Healthy Lifestyle Consultant with MirrorAthlete Corp., and former Tigard City Councilor. A strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2019 copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete and free monthly newsletter, visit:

Recreational Water Parks, Spas and Pools Unhealthy?


Updated: 19 April 2018

Leisurely public pools, water parks and spa tub use are not without its sanitation challenges for pool staff. There are many potential health risks public swim facilities pose for swimmers regardless of whether located indoors or outdoors.

Since our skin is the largest organ capable of absorbing environmental impurities; all should be aware that improper water sanitation practices lead to microorganism growth and chemical absorption that may increase health risk.

Most public pool facilities treat water with Chlorine to kill impurities that would otherwise be unhealthy for the swimmer. Chlorine is also easily absorbed through skin as well as  lungs through air born emitted chloroform and enters the blood exchange system. Chemical overexposure should cause great concern for those that spend a lot of time in treated water especially in hot tubes. The skins pore surface dilates and acts more sponge-like when submersed in hot water.

Listed below are potential health risks swimmers should be aware – if using public pools.

Public Swim Facilities Transmit Impurities and Increase Health Risk is Cause by the Following Elements.

1) Fecal contaminants discharged, or washed off of swimmers and bathers. 2) There is also non fecal shedding off the body such as, saliva, mucous, vomit and skin. 3) Infected users can contaminate hot/cold environment with potential pathogenic viral, or fungi organisms. 4) Opportunistic bacteria from users of the aquatic facilities can adapt and survive as amoebae in both hot/cold environments. 5) Indoor spas and pools ventilation systems can be contaminated and transmit pollutants and microorganisms. 6) Wet public use floors have high potential of unsanitary microorganism surface growth. (7) Outdoor facilities are challenged with wildlife excretion and other environmental microorganism sanitation issues. (8) Diarrhea-causing a gastrointestinal illness that chlorine doesn’t always kill is Cryptosporidiosis parasites. 9) Too much chlorine absorbed, or chloroform inhaled, or consumed can cause illness and disease.

High Chlorine Use and Exposure Awareness Facts

Chlorine treated water and its air born Chloroform can cause allergic symptoms i.e.,: skin rash, irritation to eyes, sinuses, throat and lungs. Including problematic intestinal symptoms, arthritis and headaches.

Chlorine also weakens the immune system, dries the scalp and hair and creates worse dandruff. Animal studies found too much chlorinated water consumption causes genetic mutations, is a cancer catalyst causing liver cancer in laboratory animals. Canadian researchers found Chloroform risk to be 70-240 times higher in the air within indoor pools than outdoor pools. After an hour of swimming in a chlorinated pool, chloroform concentrations in the swimmers blood ranged from 100-1,093ppb.

Minimize Microorganism & High Chlorine Exposure Risk

Shower before use; avoid swallowing water, report fecal matter release.

Aerobic exercises in a pool is very popular. Especially when you need to unload painful weight bearing joints during rehab..
  1. Pool disinfectants burn skin, irritate respiratory; report and avoid use if any of these conditions are experienced.
  2. If you note see particulate matter, or cloudy water report and avoid pool use.
  3. Wear eye goggles when in pool and thongs when walking on spa surfaces.
  4. Inquire on maintenance practices: Chemical treatment, air filtration & ventilation.
  5. Consult with your physician if swimming benefits outweigh risks per current health condition.
  6. If you have diarrhea don’t enter spa/pools until 2 weeks after it ends.
  7. If swim facility is shut down for sanitation cleanup… Inquire on how the microorganisms were killed, e.g., extra chlorine, ultraviolet radiation, or ozone treatment.
  8. If the pool smells heavy of chlorination avoid the facility use.

Note: There are pools that don’t use chlorination: Ultraviolet-ozone and salt.

Each impurity health concern has the potential to cause a variety of respiratory, dermal or central nervous system allergic reaction, infection or illness and possible disease. And in order to reduce risk requires one to become knowledgeable about public pool water treatment and sanitation practices before use.

The practice of proper chemical use includes but not limited to, creating and maintaining a neutral PH to provide a non-toxic/microorganism environment while simultaneously maintaining proper water/air filtration and pump system upkeep.

Indoor pools that use chlorine need to ensure ventilation systems have proper filter change out and remove excess chloroform by replacing it with fresh outdoor air makeup.

Without proactive maintenance practices to reduce environmental health risk to swimmers – adults and children are at increased risk of contracting an infectious illness that could manifest to disease.


Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2018 Copyright. All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @:, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.