Local parks encourage physical fitness, 109ers say.

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Rachel Vanlandingham has a passion for running. 

A former member of TCU's cross country team, Vanlandingham said she has found the area she runs in to be one benefit of living in the 76109 ZIP code.

“I enjoy running in the Foster Park area because of the great environment,” she said. “Everyone seems to be active in this neighborhood.”

The TCU student has been running in the area a couple times a week for the past six months.

“I prefer to go on long runs in the morning because it is peaceful and a good start to my day,” she said. “But I also like to bike in the afternoons and see other people active in the area.”

Vanlandingham has learned to balance her school schedule with physical activity, she said. She stays physically active because it helps her release stress and live a healthy lifestyle.

“Some days it is hard to find the motivation to get out of bed early in the morning to go on a run, “ she said. “But you just have to get up and do it anyways.”

Vanlandingham has made exercise into a social event, she said, where she can spend time with her friends who change up the routine by adding in biking and basketball at Foster Park.

“Finding a group of friends that you can call to work out with will also make it more fun,” she said. “It is important to find a time and place to exercise that you can enjoy, because if you like the environment you will be more likely to stay active.”

Mackenzie Schuler, a friend of Vanlandingham, also lives in the 109.

“Rachel and I meet up once or twice a week to run or bike,” Schuler said. “It is much easier to work out when you have a friend to do it with.”

The neighborhood provides many areas for children, college students and adults to be physically active.

Julie O’Neil, an associate professor at TCU’s Schieffer School of Journalism, grew up in the 109.

O'Neil wrote in an email that for the past 12 years, she has met two friends around 6 a.m. three or so days a week to powerwalk or jog three miles along the jogging trails.

“As a kid, I biked and searched for fish and frogs in the creek along the trail,” she wrote in the email. “Those trails are a huge plus for living here.”
 

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