Summer is the perfect time for adding cross-training, and a new Galveston program makes it easy to sample some of the area’s options for building strength and flexibility.

Fitness in the Park begins June 14 at Menard Park, offering a different free workout on the second Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m.

“We decided to do this to engage the community as a whole, and highlight some of the great parks in Galveston,” said Liz Torres, coordinator of Transforming Galveston. “Not everyone realizes what a good recreational facility we have right here at Menard Park, or that it’s open to everyone, including tourists and other visitors to the island.”

Like the Fitness in the Park programs, the gym and equipment at Menard Park’s McGuire-Dent Recreation Center and the city’s other recreation facility at Wright Cuney Park are open to the public at no charge.

McGuire-Dent features a full array of treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bicycles and free weights.

The facility also has lockers and showers, and even has outdoor showers for seawall runners and beachgoers.

Fitness in the Park gets underway with a Zumba session led by Adriana Kushner.

“We wanted to start with a really high-energy workout,” Torres said.

All of the workouts will take place in the bandshell area south of McGuire-Dent Recreation Center.

In future months, Transforming Galveston has scheduled CrossFit and boot camp workouts to allow participants to sample the challenges and rewards of these popular formats.

“Then, after three months of intense training programs, we’ll finish the season with Pilates in October,” Torres said.

The workouts will be held rain or shine, she added, moving into the rec center when the weather is bad.

Transforming Galveston has collaborated with the city of Galveston Families, Children and Youth Board and the Parks and Recreation Department to bring Fitness in the Park to the island.

Torres also enlisted the support of the area’s fitness professionals, who have volunteered their services for the sessions.

“We all want to spark some interest in healthy activities for everyone in Galveston,” she said.

Bernice Torregrossa is a five-time marathoner and a water exercise instructor. She can be reached at

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