Outdoor fitness equipment is fast becoming the new “adult playground” at parks around the country as local citizens now prefer a total workout outside instead of just the normal jog or walk through the woods.
Park managers across the US report strong participation when they add these outside gyms, or “Fitness Zones” as they are called. That’s good news, considering how there are many trends in society today causing us to burn fewer calories than normal (basically our tablets, cell phones and computers).
In fact, a recent survey of state park managers found one of their biggest concerns is how fewer and fewer young people are using park facilities. It doesn’t take a university research team to figure out why: Those kids are at home on the couch playing video games or on their computers yakking away on social media. Their fingers are the only muscles getting a workout.
Adults face a similar situation. Today, in this information age, we spend most of our time sitting. And typing. That’s how we expend our calories and you can bet it’s not a whole lot of calories. Especially when consuming calories at a drive-up fast food establishment is easier than ever.
The fantastic advantage of adding an outdoor gym to a park is that it really does not require much in the way of a capital expenditure. There is no building. There is no staff. There are no amenities such as showers required (if a park-goer wants to cool off, they can always jump in a pond).
You can literally create an outdoor gym today complete with heavy-duty machines and bars that allow visitors to do push-ups, chest presses, chin-ups, balance exercises, lat pull-downs, leg extensions, back extensions, stationary bicycling, leg presses, cardio-walking and even hand cycling.
Mother Nature provides the roof. These outdoor exercise equipment machines are made of rust-resistant steel than can endure the weather. And hardy machines bolted into the ground stayed around for a long time and deter vandals.
Add outdoor fitness equipment to a park and yes, they will come. There are several exciting reasons why local residents will visit and participate in these “Fitness Zones.”
The benefits of outdoor fitness equipment
First of all, they are free. Zip. Zero. No cost. There is no long-term contract, no initial signup fee, no monthly payments whether you show up or not. Nothing. Every one of your local residents will love that price.
Secondly, for anybody who has ever exercised indoors, whether it’s in a high school gym or a commercial fitness center, there’s a big difference between fresh air and gym air. Fresh air is fresh. Gym air is smelly, the odor of wet socks combined with sweaty shirts and soapy showers added in. There’s no comparison between the two.
Third, outdoor fitness equipment provides people with a complete exercise. Sure, running is great for your health. But that’s an aerobic exercise. You also want to include anaerobic exercises that build muscles, makes you leaner and thereby burns fat faster.
Fourth, outdoor gym equipment provides variety. Exercise can get mundane at times. With outdoor fitness equipment you can mix it up. Instead of running 5 miles, use the cardio-walker 30 minutes.
Finally, another benefit is the mingling aspect. With an outdoor gym, you create a gathering place for people. A place where people can congregate freely. A place where they are not confined by four walls.
The RAND Corporation conducted a study of parks in the city of Los Angeles that provided outdoor fitness equipment. They found the “Fitness Zones” attracted more first-time park goers. The people who used the outdoor exercise equipment said they were able to experience a “moderate and vigorous” increase in physical activity.
In other words, it got them out of the house. The outdoor gyms put those biceps, triceps, deltoids, flexors, quadriceps and other body parts in motion and got their pulse rates pumping. Anyone who works out with equipment knows the feeling afterward is just awesome. Invigorating. Uplifting.
If you want to attract more people to your parks, give them more reasons to go there – such as increased conditioning, greater core strength and an alternative to jogging, especially for those with weak knees.
Sure, this heavy-duty, outdoor gym equipment comes with a higher cost than indoor equipment. But it’s worth the investment when you measure participation from a satisfied public. Find sponsors to help defray the cost. Those sponsors could be local banks, health food stores, sporting goods stores, doctors, weight-loss clinics or personal trainers.
The world today is a different one. People don’t walk for miles when they work. They don’t lift heavy items. They don’t do multiple chores during a day. They sit.
Savvy urban planners, city officials and parks managers will recognize this deficiency and provide more ways for people to combat today’s sedentary lifestyle. Hotels, resorts, country clubs and multi-family housing companies can use an outdoor gym as an amenity that gives them an extra edge in the marketplace.
This strategy keeps a community healthy, keeps them out of the hospital or doctor’s office and keeps insurance rates down.
Outdoor exercise equipment is an outdoor win/win for a community and the nation as more and more park administrators jump on this treadmill.
To see the large array of dependable outdoor exercise equipment offered by The Park Catalog, click this link and feel free to call one of our helpful representatives. You’ll also like our competitive pricing.