The Scoop with Amy Doyle: Do we appreciate our healthy living community now that we have a national health crisis? – Greenville Journal

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, you have to respect the fact that at a recent press conference, Gov. Henry McMaster mentioned exercise and mental health a dozen times. In his home or work mandate, issued in early April, exercise was permitted. We have all seen more people walking dogs, biking (all kinds) and running (all speeds!) in our neighborhoods.

Is a national pandemic actually going to make us appreciate our sidewalks, trails, bike lanes and parks more than ever? (Remember, weve paid for those sidewalks with our taxes, so we should use them!)

The county portion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail remains open and busy! Ty Houck, greenways director for Greenville County, is encouraged by the recent growth in use of the trail as long as people are following recommended standards: We ask that those who do use it during this time adhere to social distancing and other safety elements expressed by Gov. McMaster and the Centers for Disease Control. Greenville Mayor Knox White said the first thing that City Council wants to reopen is the city portion of the trail, so it may be open soon.

In addition, West Pelzer Mayor Blake Sanders said the 8 miles of the Doodle Trail between Easley and Pickens is open and is seeing a huge rise in walkers and bikers.

Did you know bike shops are considered essential? Because bicycles are a method of transportation, the shops have remained open. Carolina Triathlon owner Randy McDougald has been energized by people dusting off old bikes and bringing them in for tuneups. McDougald said the business is seeing a big uptick in repair work for people whose bikes are their sole means of transportation. These are not only the speedy spandex-wearers but also people of all ages and stages who are getting back to bike riding.

McDougal has even seen a rise in sales in people getting new bikes for the first time as means of stress release and their desire to get out of the house and stay healthy. (Hint: What a great graduation gift for the class of 2020!)

Now more than ever, it is critical to shop small. Our local businesses not the global companies sponsor the road races and bike races downtown. Our neighborhood business owners names are on the backs of Little League T-shirts. They are the ones who support our churches, schools and public safety. We want to remember to thank them with our support.

Josh Boggs, sales manager of Trek Bicycle Store on Laurens Road, said, We have changed more flat tires than probably any two-day period in my 20 years in the bike business. OK, thats a lot of tires.

We have several locally owned running stores, and they support the running community wholeheartedly.(Just check out any road race they are all there cheering on!) Jeff Milliman, owner of Greenville Running Company on Haywood Road, prides his store on custom-fitting for running shoes, but he has adjusted to curbside pickup. I think the new normal will be that people realize the least expensive way to stay fit, healthy and have a strong immune system will be running and exercise walking.

I remember running the Boston Marathon one year and seeing an 8-year-old holding up a sign that said, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE FASTER THAN YOUR SOFA. That made me laugh for miles.

Keep moving! Stay safe! Stay healthy, Greenville.

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The Scoop with Amy Doyle: Do we appreciate our healthy living community now that we have a national health crisis? - Greenville Journal

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