Daniel Islanders Get Moving With New Healthy Living Options

March 27, 2014

When it comes to fitness, Daniel Island’s new Recreation Coordinator Dani Hermann likes to hit the ground running. Since joining the staff at the Daniel Island Property Owners’ Association last September, the self-proclaimed exercise enthusiast has been pumping out a variety of new programs geared towards helping island residents live he alt – and more are on the way!

“My goal is to create and implement programming that will enhance the community physically, artistically and intellectually,” said Dani. “Fitness and health are a huge part of my life and I’m just happy to share my experiences and my ideas.”

Creating activities that would take full advantage of Daniel Island’s fitness-friendly vibe wasn’t too hard, Dani admits. After all, the island is a true recreational playground, offering up 18 miles of beautiful trails, several swimming pools and 400 acres of parks and greenspaces.

Daniel Island's Recreation Coordinator, Dani Hermann.

Daniel Island’s Recreation Coordinator, Dani Hermann.

“It’s a tight knit community, but there’s so much to do,” said Dani, who earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from the College of Charleston. “Even without participating in a fitness activity or a group class, everyone is always out running, walking, and biking…rain or shine, and I think that’s great!”

With so many inspiring settings for calorie-burning fun, Dani knew getting people moving wouldn’t be difficult. Her first effort – a new walking club – has met with great success. The free program, called “Walk with Me,” targets those age 20 and up and meets every Tuesday morning. And as its participants have happily discovered, the experience is much more than a walk in the park.

“It just kind of gets people up and moving in the morning and stresses the importance of exercise,” said Dani. “Each week I bring a new recipe and provide health tidbits and random facts…We really walk and talk! It’s a great group.”

Afterwards, Dani gives participants a breakdown with the number of miles they walked and the average amount of calories burned. Club members give the program an enthusiastic thumbs up!

The Daniel Island POA's "Walk With Me" group gathers for a Tuesday morning walk on the island's trails.

The Daniel Island POA’s “Walk With Me” group gathers for a Tuesday morning walk on the island’s trails.

“It’s healthy walking, plus you get recipes and make new friends,” says resident Mikki Rosenberg.

For Dorothy Graefe, who brought along her dog on the last club outing, it’s offered a great way to acclimate to the community.

“I’m new to the area and it’s nice to have an opportunity to meet new people.”

For those interested in stepping up their fitness even more, Dani’s new Circuit Training Workout is sure to bring results. The class meets every Monday and Wednesday at Pierce Park Pavilion, a picturesque spot overlooking an expansive marsh and the Wando River.

“We do full body, upper body, lower body and abdominal exercises,” said Dani, of the customized workouts. “It’s all kind of mixed in. Sometimes we’ll use ladders and medicine balls…It’s good motivation!”

Kayaking Seminar on Beresford Creek

Kayak and paddle board rentals will soon be available to Daniel Island residents for rent.

And for those who feel the call of the water, an exciting new initiative is sure to make a big splash when it debuts next month. Beginning in April, the Daniel Island Property Owners Association will offer kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals for cruising the island’s waterways. Residents can rent them for a few hours or a few days – all for very nominal fees. Paddles and life jackets will be provided as well.

“This is a huge fitness addition!” exclaimed Dani. “We’re very excited. We wanted to make it accessible to everybody, no matter what their living situation is, and make it easy for our residents to get out and do things and experience what other people can’t. With the kayaks and paddle boards, you don’t have to own one to try it!”

Rotary-Improvement-Contest

Daniel Island’s 18 miles of scenic trails provide endless opportunities for all kinds of outdoor fitness activities.

But that’s not all. Yoga, water aerobics, sailing classes and special activities for teens are also in the works. Plus, an action-packed kick ball league that will no doubt inspire a little friendly neighborhood competition is set to launch in the fall. With so many ways to take care of body, mind and soul Dani is optimistic that island residents will step it up.

“I hope they understand the importance of being fit and healthy, not only for themselves, but for everyone surrounding them. It helps with work, too. The more fitness you have, the happier you are and the more productivity you have.”

So whether you’re interested in maintaining your fitness level, getting a fresh start with a new exercise regimen, or kicking things up a notch, Daniel Island is most definitely the place to “bring it on!”