Outdoor fitness parks are an emerging trend in Canada. Fitness parks provide a lot of benefits to users ages 13 and up and to the community at large. Because of these benefits, outdoor fitness parks are showing up all over the country, in cities large and small. What are the benefits of outdoor fitness parks? Here are 10 ways outdoor fitness parks make life better for the people in your community:
1. No Membership Fees
One of the biggest obstacles to people achieving their health goals is the high cost associated with gym memberships. Since outdoor fitness parks are free to users, they remove financial barriers to better health and wellness.
2. Outdoor Fitness Builds Lasting Habits
Studies show people who exercise outdoors are more likely to repeat the behavior and for longer periods than people who exercise indoors. Creating healthy habits by exercising outdoors can improve quality of life and establish a lifelong improvement in health.
3. Connects the Community
Fitness parks provide a social outlet that builds community capital. People from all walks of life enjoy outdoor fitness parks. Bringing people together is a key element to improving overall quality of life.
4. Fitness Parks are Beneficial for Everyone
When designed correctly, fitness parks can be enjoyed by people of all abilities and fitness levels. It's important to create a space that appeals to all users so everyone realizes the benefits of outdoor fitness.
5. Natural "Medicine"
Exercising outdoors helps people gain exposure to fresh air, nature, and sunlight. Sunlight helps increase levels of Vitamin D naturally, and studies show people who exercise outdoors have improved moods and a greater sense of wellbeing.
6. Financial Opportunities
Outdoor fitness parks are generally free to the public, but there are opportunities for communities to use fitness parks to create revenue. Some park and recreation departments generate revenue through program agreements with certified personal trainers. Working with personal trainers also provides the community with an opportunity to learn how to use the fitness equipment effectively.
7. Encourage Change
Often times, people begin using equipment in an outdoor fitness park because it is convenient or available while they in the park with their children or grandchildren. It becomes a catalyst to encourage non-exercising adults to be more active.
8. Part of a Whole Health Solution
Many communities use an outdoor fitness park as a gathering place or community wellness site. You can increase interest in related community services, such as nutrition education and health screenings by holding events at an outdoor fitness space.
9. Multi-Generational Activity
When located within sight lines of a playground, fitness parks promote active behavior in adult family members. As children play on the playground, parents exercise nearby. This helps support the importance of lifelong activity and healthy habits in children.
10. Bring in the Dollars
Well-designed parks created to meet the health and wellness goals of a community may qualify for increased grant funding related to obesity prevention/reduction. Utilize current research and data about the health of your community in your grant proposals and requests.
Design the Perfect Fit For Your Community
If you want to learn more about designing an outdoor fitness park, and how it can help your community reach it's health and wellness goals, request a copy of the Outdoor Adult Fitness Park Guidebook. It's filled with research and information on how to design, install and program your fitness park to make sure it is a useful resource for everyone in your community. Help promote better health throughout Canada with outdoor fitness parks.