March 16, 2020

Outdoor Fitness 101: Better Community Health

This is a nine-part series on the benefits of Outdoor Fitness Parks. It is based on the research and information found in Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks™: Best Practices for Promoting Community Health by Increasing Physical Activity, published by PlayCore. Request a copy of the complete guidebook to help you plan the perfect fitness park.

We receive questions all the time, such as "what are the best types of outdoor fitness equipment for a park?" or "how can I promote my outdoor fitness park to improve community health?" - these and many other questions have increased over the years as communities look for ways to encourage people to exercise outdoors. 

In this blog series, we will answer these questions and many more. You'll find information that inspires communities to advocate and utilize Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks as critical health solutions for increasing physical activity and social engagement. 

Benefits of Outdoor Fitness Equipment

Adding outdoor fitness equipment to your park or greenspace provides a wide range of benefits. Communities who create outdoor fitness parks add an essential service for adults of all fitness levels. Outdoor fitness equipment and fitness parks are:

  • Free to users, providing needed resources especially in underserved communities
  • People who exercise outdoors are more likely to repeat the behavior
  • People who exercise outdoors are more likely to engage in the activity longer than those who exercise indoors
  • Provides a social outlet for exercise
  • Can be enjoyed by people of all abilities and fitness levels
  • Provides exposure to fresh air, nature, and sunlight, which increases important levels of vitamin D
  • May encourage a greater number of people to exercise regularly than indoor options
  • Offers fitness park owners an outlet for generating revenue through program agreements with certified personal trainers

Create Opportunities for Multigenerational Health

When you add outdoor fitness equipment to your park, you create a catalyst to encourage the non-exercising population to begin exercising. Outdoor fitness parks provide a place for related community services, such as nutrition education and health screenings. If you add fitness equipment near a playground, studies show children play longer and parents exercise longer. 

Outdoor fitness parks are known to increase community and social capital and encourage people of all walks of life to get to know one another better. They are a family gathering place where life-long healthy habits are developed. And adding outdoor fitness equipment to you park may qualify your community for increased grant funding related to obesity prevention/reduction.

Make Outdoor Fitness Part of Your Community

Planning an outdoor fitness park can help you encourage adults to be more active and live a healthy lifestyle. Adults who exercise outdoors exercise more frequently and for longer periods of time and set a positive example for children. 

If you want to learn more about the benefits of outdoor fitness parks and want to explore creating one for your community, contact the GameTime outdoor fitness expert in your neighborhood.