- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

PRINCETON, Ind. (AP) - The new year brings new fitness initiatives to the Arc of Gibson County in the form of bicycles and tricycles.

Melissa Walden, director of marketing and development for the Arc, says the bikes are part of a healthy lifestyle push.

The Arc of Gibson County serves approximately 140 people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in a number of capacities throughout the county.

Walden says she was inspired to bring the idea back home after attending a health and wellness event in Indianapolis, which featured the use of bikes by staff members at Eli Lilly and Company.

“The bikes are meant to encourage exercise among our consumers, but they can also be used by staff - we want our staff to be healthy too,” she said.



“We will be tracking how often each bike is taken out - the tricycles will probably be more popular than the bicycles - but we wanted everyone to have the option.”

Bikes will be available during regular business hours with the supervision of a staff member, in a variety of ways ranging from a ride around Princeton, to the park or downtown to the square to get lunch.

Walden says The Arc takes care of consumers in several aspects of their lives- from doctor appointments, to living situations, to shopping for food. Now they are looking to go a step further to make exercise a priority, which may result in other benefits like a reduction in certain medications.

“Our consumers made goals for 2017, and 85 percent of the goals were either to eat healthier or exercise more.”

She says once a month, consumers participate in healthy eating classes at the Gibson County Purdue Extension Office.

“They (consumers) are really excited about the bikes. When they came in earlier and saw them in the office, their eyes lit up.”

The Arc was able to secure the ten bikes, bike locks and helmets through a $3,760 grant from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana located south of Princeton.

“When the weather gets warmer, we would like to have them take the bikes out so they have an opportunity to interact with the community as much as possible and be involved in different things around town.”

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Source: Princeton Daily Clarion,

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Information from: Princeton Daily Clarion, https://www.tristate-media.com/pdclarion

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