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What are the Benefits of Park Gym Equipment?

December 7, 2018

Traditionally, parks were local community hubs, offering a space for leisure activities everyone could enjoy. As people’s interests change, the role of parks also needs to develop to stay relevant, so that they can continue to play an important role as a local community space.

One way that a lot of parks are doing this is by installing a range of outdoor fitness equipment for adults. While park gym equipment was once an unusual sight, today this type of exercise apparatus is increasingly common, and usually extremely popular amongst visitors of varying ages.

Park gym equipment has risen in popularity because it provides a wide range of benefits for individuals, communities, and the park itself. So what are these benefits?

Benefits for individual visitors

The most obvious benefit of any fitness equipment is also the most significant – exercise. By providing park gym equipment, you can help to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle, by exercising in an enjoyable, open-air environment.

Parks have an advantage over indoor venues, because of the sheer amount of space available to them. This means that parks can easily accommodate various types of cardio and strength training by providing a range of outdoor fitness equipment for adults.

Combining strength and cardio is important for both losing weight and building muscle, and providing a selection of different park gym equipment will help people to achieve this. Equipment such as pull up bars, sit-up benches and leg presses are great for strength training, and help to exercise different parts of the body.

You can provide cardio workouts with equipment like cycles, skiers, and space walkers, which help to burn fat, increase stamina, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Outdoor exercise also has various other proven benefits too, including mental wellbeing. Studies have suggested natural environments reduce emotional and physiological stress, with outdoor exercise providing the health benefits associated with physical exertion alongside the advantages of natural light and air. Exposure to sunlight also helps to increase levels of vitamin D, which is important in our overall wellbeing, and cannot be obtained through indoor exercise.

Finally, as well as these various physical and emotional benefits, all of this park gym equipment is fun to use, and most importantly – it’s free.

Community benefits

This brings us to the community benefits of outdoor fitness equipment for adults. Providing free exercise equipment is an important role of parks in local communities, as it enables people in your area to exercise who can’t afford to pay the membership costs of gyms or health clubs.

Free park gym equipment also help to encourage those who have never exercised before to give it a go, without having to commit themselves to a gym subscription fee. Outdoor gym equipment is accessible to all, and should be easy to use without supervision from fitness experts or trainers.

Offering such inclusive fitness equipment is of great value to local communities, and can create positive change, particularly in lower-income areas where access to this type of equipment may be limited.

Kinetic Kontrol is a great example of a calisthenics group who are using outdoor equipment to create positive community change. The group, who are based in the London Borough of Croydon, say that the impact of this type of equipment “has been amazing”.

“It has allowed us to be able to promote these free sessions on Saturday, in an area where there was not much to do for young people, alternatives being unhealthy or getting in trouble with local enforcement. To summarise, it has been the tool we needed to help our community. Breaking stereotypes, promoting health and wellness, and giving our community relatable positive influences.”

In addition to providing opportunities for people with limited access, park gym equipment is also helpful for people with physically demanding jobs as well. Police officer and firefighters in particular can use these spaces to replicate real world environments, particularly in adverse weather conditions.

Outdoor fitness equipment for adults is also a great way to increase social interaction and encourage friendships. People will naturally socialise while exercising, and your equipment may also facilitate local fitness clubs to form and meet. Encouraging friendship is always beneficial to communities, and helps to make your area a friendlier place to live.

Park gym equipment promotes the growth of a healthy community, encouraging fitness and social interaction to create a beneficial environment for all.

Benefits for your park

Helping to influence a positive community atmosphere is also beneficial for the park itself in numerous ways. Firstly, installing outdoor fitness equipment can help to modernise parks, potentially attracting new visitors to your park.

People who exercise regularly are likely to be brought in by the provision of exercise equipment, which may also help to attract further visitors to check out what’s happening.

This can also provide potential revenue opportunities for your park too. Trainers may want to rent your outdoor gym area for exercise classes and workshops, which can help to provide your park with vital income. Outdoor exercise facilities like this may also help to attract local sponsorship or funding, and can also host charity events, which is a good way to promote your park within the local area.

Park gym equipment is specifically designed and manufactured to be extremely durable to the rigours of outdoor life. This means it is resilient to the wear and tear that comes with constant use, as well as adverse weather conditions, including rain, snow, wind and heat.

As a result of being highly durable, outdoor fitness equipment is extremely eco-friendly, as it is very low maintenance and requires very little human resources to run. The materials used, including steel, will last for many years, and are recyclable when they eventually need to be replaced.

Outdoor fitness equipment also requires no electricity to run, meaning it has a very low carbon impact. This factor is extremely attractive to developers and councils, which is particularly useful if you are looking for funding opportunities.

Park gym equipment has a wide range of benefits for individuals, the wider community, and the park itself, and makes a fantastic addition to any modern park environment.

Written by: Andy Prentice
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