Promoting regular physical activity has always been a public health priority. However, during the pandemic, prioritizing exercise has been more difficult due to closed gyms, fewer organized sports and activities, and financial strains. Parks, organizations, and communities have been doing what they can to create new initiatives in encouraging exercise and removing the barriers to a healthier life.
Outdoor fitness parks have been around for years, but their popularity has significantly increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not just to provide physical activity, but as an additional means of staying connected with the community. Fitness parks make access to fitness equipment affordable and accessible during a pandemic, all while allowing for a safe, socially-distant activity for family and friends.
Besides the obvious benefits of a fitness park during a pandemic, there are many other reasons why you might consider adding one to your community.
All Ages, Abilities, and Fitness Levels
When designed and built correctly, fitness parks can be enjoyed by people of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels. There is various equipment on the market today that can be incorporated to help encourage strength building, balance, flexibility, core development, and aerobic exercise.
Fitness equipment can be intimidating to new users, so it’s important to make it easy by providing clear instructional signs on how to use the various equipment and include a visual graphic.
Promote a Healthy Habit
Fitness parks encourage non-exercising adults to be more active. Perhaps a couple is strolling along a path in a park and comes across a fitness area. Chances are better that they will give it a try right then and there rather than joining a gym. Research shows that people who exercise outdoors are more likely to repeat the behavior than people who exercise indoors. Not only is it more fun, but you get the added benefit of mother nature’s fresh air and Vitamin D.
Set an Example
Fitness parks can help set a good example for an active lifestyle when the fitness area is placed near a playground. Children see adults using the equipment and become curious and aware of what they’re doing. Plus, parents can get a workout in while still supervising their children on the playground.
Drive Additional Traffic
By providing a fitness area within your park or playground, you are helping to drive more people to your park by offering activities for every age group. The news will quickly spread and before you know it, you might even have local fitness instructors bringing clients to your park!