March 02, 2022

Why Your Community Should Care About Outdoor Fitness

Outdoor fitness equipment is a relatively new concept for community parks. For a long time, parks departments added a playground to keep children active or a walking path to encourage adults to keep moving. As communities' needs and goals changed over time, outdoor fitness equipment emerged as an essential amenity in parks.  

This article will explore why outdoor fitness parks are a popular trend, what kind of outdoor fitness equipment you should install, and how it will benefit everyone in your community.

Sometimes the Best Gym Isn't a Gym

Imagine it's Saturday. The workweek is over, and you're looking forward to a workout. You look at the weather forecast and see the day will be clear with temperatures in the low 70s. It's going to be a perfect day.

Now, where would you prefer to work out: an outdoor in the fresh air and sunny weather; or an indoor gym with artificial light and stale air.

If you answered "outdoors," you're not alone. Studies show that adults prefer to exercise outside instead of in an indoor gym. 

People using outdoor fitness equipment in a park

Americans also love going to their local park. According to the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), 80% of Americans visited their local park at least once in the past year. A RAND study also found that nearly 70 million adults use or want to use the park regularly to exercise.

Working out under the sun is favored among adults, and it provides unique benefits compared to indoor gyms. Some of the many evidence-based health benefits of an outdoor workout include:

  • Improved mental well-being and physiological health
  • Disease prevention
  • Improved adherence to regular exercise
  • A feeling of enjoyment and revitalization
  • A decrease in tension, confusion, depression, and anxiety
  • Increased energy
  • Higher level of physical activity among older adults
  • Access to green environments

How to Choose Outdoor Fitness Products 

There is a demand for outdoor fitness options, but how do you design an outdoor fitness park? What kind of equipment should you select? How do you accommodate the needs of everyone in your community?

The answer to those questions and more is found in a helpful guidebook from PlayCore. Written by leading experts in parks and recreation, health and fitness, and exercise physiology, it contains research and resources to help you design an outdoor workout area that fits your community. 

Image of the Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks design guide from PlayCore

Once you have a solid understanding of selecting and designing your space, it's time to choose the fitness equipment. GameTime's GTfit range includes familiar-looking workout equipment for adults of all ages and fitness levels, including adults who need accessible or therapeutic equipment. 

You can combine GTfit products in a fitness park or install the equipment along a walking path to encourage additional cardio exercise.

Man doing pushups in a GameTime outdoor fitness park

For the more competitive people in your neighborhood, consider Challenge Course. This competitive, high-energy obstacle course is inspired by "Ninja Warrior" for every generation and fitness level. It is a great workout, and it also helps bring families together through multigenerational play. You can design your course or pick from pre-configured designs to fit your space and budget.

If space is at a premium, consider THRIVE fitness systems. These compact functional fitness trainers allow as many as 20 users to exercise at once in as little as 250 square feet.  

All GameTime fitness products include instructional signage, scannable QR codes, and additional workout guides to help people get the most out of their workout. 

Partners for Community Health

Providing the opportunity for an outdoor workout is essential for modern-day parks. There are many benefits to moving your fitness routine outdoors, and people prefer to exercise in the great outdoors. 

By adding outdoor fitness equipment in the parks people love to visit, you provide a space that brings the community together. And you remove barriers to better health and wellness.

If you're ready to explore how outdoor fitness equipment can benefit your community, contact a GameTime representative today. We'll help you plan a space that fits your needs.