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Problem Solver - August 2015

Provide Accessible Fitness for All


With a growing awareness of the need to get community members active, parks and other fitness-aware organizations have been installing outdoor fitness equipment in parks, along trails, near playgrounds and anywhere else where people like to gather for fun and exercise. Ensuring everyone has access to fitness opportunities is an important mission, and with a wide variety of durable equipment available, getting started is simple.

Q: We want to ensure access to fitness for all our community members. What should we consider?

A: Talk with manufacturers of outdoor fitness equipment about your needs. You'll find solutions that can fit into any environment, large or small. Whether you go with a predesigned package or customize your layout, you'll be sure to find units that can be combined to provide a wide range of exercises that will benefit your community.

Outdoor fitness areas can incorporate a variety of equipment, including circuit training, body-weight resistance, as well as adjustable resistance, giving community members a chance to get a full-body workout. What's more, many units accommodate multiple users, which means more people can work out at once, getting all the benefits of a workout with the added bonus of a strong social element.

Know the demographics of the potential users. The average user may not be able to use pull-up bars, so make sure there are enough entry-level activities so as to avoid discouraging those just starting out.

Q: What is the best place in our park to place our outdoor fitness equipment?

A: The location is another important factor. Equipment should be placed in a location that's easily visible. If space is lacking, get creative. Unused tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, parking lots, old playgrounds and more all have the potential to have new life breathed into them by transforming them into outdoor fitness areas.

It's also important to place equipment in a location that is easily accessible to patrons of all abilities. Is parking nearby? Are pathways to the fitness area accessible? These are also important considerations.

Q: We want to be sure our outdoor fitness area includes accessible options and exercises suitable for older adults. What should we look for?

A: You can easily incorporate a range of machines into your fitness zone that will meet the diverse needs of your community. ADA-accessible units can be found to target various muscle groups, providing an exercise outlet for those in wheelchairs.

Active aging is a very important key to physical and emotional health for your mature adult population. There are plenty of activities that can help seniors maintain or regain agility, while building strength and flexibility. Look for multigenerational units that provide safe and effective workouts, regardless of the age of fitness level of the user.

All community members, including those with disabilities and mature adults, will love having the opportunity to work out outdoors with no gym membership required, and the social aspect of such settings only reinforces the motivation for everyone.



FOR MORE INFORMATION

Greenfields Outdoor Fitness Inc.
888-315-9037
www.greenfieldsfitness.com


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