Hi all! Alyssa Smith here, back with your Health Connection blog! I hope you all have enjoyed seeing social media posts about different nutrition programs happening in Rowan County, that you’ve had a chance to hit up the newly opened Salisbury-Rowan Farmer’s Market, and that you’ve learned a little more about what Rowan has to offer when it comes to one of the best ways to impact your health – through what you eat! This month we’re shifting gears to talk about getting active locally. Personally, I like to explore different activities instead of having a gym routine, and the great thing about Rowan County is that there are a LOT of opportunities to be active and have fun throughout our community.

At the beginning of this month, we kicked off National Public Health Week with our local Rowan County Health Department. The theme this year across the nation is “Healthiest Nation 2030 – Changing our Future Together.” Did you know, every year on the first day of public health week, the Rowan County Health Department invites the community to take a break from their busy days to walk a quick mile around Granite Lake Park? Walking is a great, simple way to promote health – and gives us a chance to get to know our Rowan County neighbors.

The Rowan County Health Department invited the community to take a break from their busy days to walk a quick mile around Granite Lake Park during National Public Health Week.


It Doesn’t Cost A Lot to Get Active

Granite Lake Park is a part of the larger Carolina Thread Trail. Under the Parks & Recreation tab on the Town of Granite Quarry’s website, it notes that “Just as fish needs to swim, a bird to fly, a deer to run, we need to walk, not in order to survive, but to be happy.” Research tells us that the more active our bodies are, the more active our brains are, and this activity helps boost not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. In fact, according to our 2019 County Health Rankings, Rowan County residents have increased their leisure time physical activity. Way to go Rowan! In an effort to get us all moving, our county has been committed to providing and protecting green spaces like Dan Nicholas Park, Hurley Park, and the Salisbury Greenway. Novant Health Rowan Medical Center has also added a small track on the corners of Confederate Ave. and W. Henderson St to provide a safe place to walk. Moreover, more than 77% of residents have access to physical activity spaces like gyms, trails, parks, and local sports courts! Rowan County is committed to increasing these spaces, like with the Bell Tower Green project in charming downtown Salisbury. You can find a local list of free and low-cost physical activity spaces here which provides a comprehensive guide for many different activities throughout the community.

Novant Health Trail


Exercise is Medicine: How much exercise is enough?

Most of us should be getting a little more exercise that we probably do. I know I should! Adults should be getting at least 150 minutes per week of physical activity and kids should be getting 60 minutes per day. The great thing about Rowan County is that we have champions within our schools, healthcare systems, and new businesses geared towards health.

Two really cool projects happening in Rowan that I get to share with you about are our Exercise is Medicine Program happening at the local Community Care Clinic of Rowan County and our Daily Mile Program that is integrated throughout elementary schools in the Rowan-Salisbury School System. Our schools are doing a great job of promoting activity through a program called “the Daily Mile.”

For adults: “Exercise is medicine” is a way to promote activity because we know that moving a little more every day has positive benefits. When patients go to the doctor, in addition to being asked questions about blood pressure and having their height measured, they also are being asked about how much activity they are getting throughout the week. It sounds so simple, but doctors have been so focused on just treating illness in the past, we’ve forgotten how to make sure that people get and stay healthy! Rowan County is on the cutting edge for bringing this program to patients. We’re focused on decreasing the need for costly medications by adding exercise back to the treatment plan. This not only helps a patient’s long-term health, but it also builds a community where folks are sick less often, need fewer days out, and decreases insurance costs. All from just exercising a little more!

For kids: The Rowan-Salisbury School System is so unique for a number of reasons, but I want to highlight their commitment to health for kids and teachers by the “Daily Mile” program. The Daily Mile is 15 minutes for children (and their teachers) to run, walk, or jog a mile. This allows students to refocus, energize their brains, and get the “wiggles” out. Long-term research shows programs like this improve academic achievement, decrease absenteeism, and improve behavior issues. Very proud of our elementary schools – they’ve already walked more than 110,000 miles since the start of the school year!

Students participating in the Daily Mile at Landis Elementary.


Get Up & Get Active!

So how can you get more active in Rowan County? One way is to join me in some adventures! Below you can see our Adventure Rowan program participants, we recently celebrated 6 months of programming with a hike at Dan Nicholas Park! Every Wednesday at Morgan Ridge and Railwalk Brewery & Eatery, SoFul Yoga hosts a yoga class at 6:30 p.m. Also, check out Heart of Yoga in Downtown Salisbury. Now that the weather is nice, there are a number of upcoming outdoor events. Check them out below! I’d love to see you there and get a selfie with you!

Adventure Rowan


  • Stomp Out Sexual Assault 5k
    • April 27 at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m.
    • Knox Middle School
  • Teens with a Mission 5k and Superhero Fun Run
    • May 3 at 8 p.m., Fun Run at 7:30 p.m.
    • 308 W Fisher St Salisbury (First Presbyterian Church)
  • Salisbury PD Foot Pursuit 5k
    • May 10 at 7 p.m., Fun Run at 7:45 p.m.
    • 130 E Liberty St Salisbury
  • Ed Dupree 5k for Hospice House
    • May 18 at 8:30 a.m., Fun Run at 9:30 a.m.
    • East Rowan High School
  • Bare Bones Cosmic 5k and Brownie Fun Run
    • May 25 at 8:30 a.m., Fun Run at 9:15 a.m.
    • Knox Middle School
  • China Grove Main St Challenge 5k
    • June 7 at 9 p.m., Tot Trot at 8:15 p.m., Fun Run at 8:30 p.m.
    • 333 N Main St China Grove
  • Shiloh 5k Mission Run/Walk & Fun Run
    • June 29 at 8 a.m., Fun Run at 8:50 a.m.
    • 100 South Main St Faith (Shiloh Reformed Church of Faith)
  • Salisbury Parks & Recreation Greenway 5k
    • July 13
    • Knox Middle School
  • Hero 5k
    • September 14 at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 9:50 a.m.
    • 1601 Brenner Ave Salisbury



  • Buck Hurley Triathlon
    • Little Buck Hurley Triathlon May 4 at 1 p.m., Buck Hurley Triathlon and Relay May 5 at 7:30 a.m.
    • JF Hurley Family YMCA
  • Close by – U.S. National Whitewater Center – The Dry Tri
    • May 25 at 8 a.m.
    • 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway Charlotte


Running not your thing? Try these other events!

  • Pitch Hit and Run
    • April 27 at 10 a.m.
    • 1113 S MLK Jr Ave Salisbury
    • Skills Event for youth aged 7-14
  • Let’s Ride Rowan!
    • May 11 at 10 a.m.
    • Knox Middle School
    • Biking with The Pedal Factory and Salisbury Rowan Runners
  • Let’s Ride Rowan!
    • June 29 at 10 a.m.
    • Civic Center
    • Biking with The Pedal Factory and Salisbury Rowan Runners