Heffernan board inaugurates new John F. Kennedy Wellness Park

State Senator Ben Hueso rides an exercise bike at Friday’s inauguration of Calexico’s new John F. Kennedy Wellness Park.

CALEXICO – The Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District Board (HMHDB) of Directors, alongside the city of Calexico, inaugurated its fifth wellness park Friday, and celebrated the success of the city project.

The most recent wellness park is located at John F. Kennedy Park on Perry Avenue and is now home to various workout machines. Other parks with workout equipment are Cordova park, Nosotros Park, Heber Park, and Crummett Park.

One of the machines provided is an elliptical machine that exercises a person’s hamstring, quads, and gluts. The park also has an exercise bike to provide a cardio work out with another station with bars and exercise guides on how to properly perform dips, and build triceps, with major synergists being the anterior deltoid, the pectoral muscles, and rhomboid muscles of the back.

To show support of the project, State Sen. Ben Hueso visited the event and gave a few encouraging words to the city and Heffernan board of directors. Hueso even gave the equipment a try for himself.

“It is great to see what the Heffernan board of directors has been able to do for the community,” said Hueso. “I have to come and applaud all involved personally for their hard work on creating the opportunity for a healthier community.”

“By providing these parks to the different neighborhoods, the city of Calexico has become the only town in the entire Imperial County that provides resident access to equipment for a healthier life,” said Sylvia Bernal, Heffernan board president.

The mission of providing the different neighborhoods with exercise equipment is to reduce obesity and chronic disease by engaging people in rigorous physical activities. With the mission not yet completed, the Heffernan board and the city will continue to work together to maintain the wellness parks and keep them accessible to residents, according to officials.

“One of the major aspects of this location is that it is also geared for handicapped people too, giving everyone the opportunity to benefit from these machines,” said Bernal.

One machine accessible for handicapped people is a shoulder press, that also doubles as a chest press, by switching the position of the arms.

The Heffernan board members said they will continue to find new locations to incorporate their project, giving more neighborhoods throughout the Calexico easy access to an everyday workout spot.