By: Amanda Belo
When the weather is warm and the sun is shining, who wants to be stuck indoors? Just a quick search will lead you to outdoor fitness areas everywhere, and these outdoor fitness spaces may also be a great way of connecting your community!
Most of us spend all day at work inside sitting in sometimes windowless offices for hours. A gym is a great option for fitness, but how great would it be to switch things up and enjoy the outdoors? Local outdoor fitness spaces are a perfect solution!
What is an Outdoor Fitness Area?
What’s an outdoor fitness area you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like! It is essentially an outdoor recreation space (think of something like a park) that allows community members a space to utilize the provided workout equipment, challenge courses, and other physical activity-related tools to help them meet their fitness and wellness goals!
Benefits of Outdoor Fitness Zones
Playcore, a company that provides outdoor recreation and fitness solutions, champions outdoor fitness parks because they allow anyone of any age to exercise while “enjoying natural and designed landscapes in an open-air environment.” They believe these facilities make exercise fun and more accessible, improve health, and are environmentally friendly than your average indoor gym. Just think of all of the saved paper towels, electricity, and water!
The Trust for Public Land’s Fitness Zone® believes in the power of outdoor fitness, too, particularly when it comes to accessibility for all. All 68 Fitness Zones – an always-growing number – provide free outdoor fitness equipment to local parks that offer affordable workout opportunities.
Another growing outdoor exercise community program is NFC Fitness Court®. The Fitness Court is an outdoor bodyweight circuit-training system that provides a complete, full-body workout in seven minutes. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, the Fitness Court is designed for anyone and allows progression over time!
Outdoor Fitness Connecting Your Community
Many communities are starting to follow suit and build outdoor fitness areas in local parks and spaces. These communities have invested money in the installation of fitness equipment so that city dwellers can exercise any day for free, but there these additions also help the community. New equipment can infuse new energy into a run-down park area and help parks appeal to a wider demographic.
“We particularly focus on areas that are underserved, both in amenities and socioeconomically — areas that might not have access to private gyms,” says TPL Senior VP + Director of City Park Development, Adrian Benepe.
Having these public spaces helps many community members overcome economic barriers, but the outdoor aspect itself is important. Those who workout outdoors have been shown to exercise for an additional 30 minutes per week and tend to come back more often! This means that a more diverse range of people are coming together more often and for longer to create healthy change.
How amazing is that??
If a fitness park is not available in your area, you can still enjoy a workout without the big equipment. Make your local park, waterfront or other outdoor space your oasis. You can walk, jog, bike, bring your mat for yoga or crunches…the possibilities are endless!
What are your favorite outdoor exercise spaces?
Tell us in the comments below!