Fitness Activities That Don't Require Staffing

Among many park agencies and other recreation organizations, concerns about staffing have seen a dramatic increase over the past year. In fact, there was a 15.8-point increase in the number of respondents to Recreation Management's Industry Report survey who said staffing issues were a top concern at their facility this year, making it the No. 1 concern in 2022.


At the same time, the need to encourage physical activity is just as crucial as ever, with many people giving up their gym memberships and activity levels decreasing during the pandemic.

So, how can you encourage people to get more involved in fitness without putting the crunch on your already-too-busy staff?

Show Up & Get Fit

Outdoor fitness equipment is intuitive to use, requiring no instructor or personal trainer. Community members can simply show up and create their own workout. Elliptical machines, leg presses, steppers, recumbent bikes and more—all are simple to use, and many visitors will begin using available equipment and naturally discover what works for them.

An outdoor fitness zone can also be encouraging to those who are looking to get active and have never used fitness equipment before. An outdoor gym has none of the pressure of a membership-based fitness club. New exercisers will be able to try a workout for the first time without having to join a gym.

Whether they're new to fitness or have never used outdoor equipment before, visitors who aren't quite sure how to use the equipment can use scannable QR codes or an app to find video demonstrations that will help them get started.

Even better, newbies and experienced fitness buffs alike will welcome the opportunity to get fit on their own schedule. Outdoor fitness areas are open to the community any time your site is available for use, so there's no need to find the time to squeeze an exercise class into an already-busy schedule. The equipment is there and ready for a workout any time.

And the best thing is, you can provide all of this without having to hire front-desk staff or exercise instructors!

Something for Everyone

An outdoor gym can provide activities to meet anyone's fitness goals, as long as you provide the right variety. Be sure to include areas for stretching, machines for cardio and strength, and equipment that can meet the needs of those with disabilities.


Machines with adjustable resistance will make it easy for everyone to get a workout, from first-timers to advanced exercisers. Seniors will welcome the opportunity to expand their range of motion and build agility. Wheelchair accessible fitness equipment targeting a range of muscle groups will be appealing for those who rely on wheelchairs or have limited mobility.

For those with more exercise experience, functional fitness rigs and ninja courses can help power up their routine, giving the opportunity to test their strength, agility and endurance.

Outdoor fitness areas also strengthen the fabric of your community, as people that frequent the gyms tend to build friendly relationships with others using the equipment. Even better, those with more experience can help those with less learn different ways to use the equipment, further enhancing the social aspect of the gym.

Create a Community Destination

Once you've got a good mix of equipment that will provide a wide range of workout experiences, you can go one step further to be sure your outdoor gym is inviting.

When the sun is bright and shining in the heat of the summer, you might want to add some shade elements to protect users from UV rays and heat.

Adding amenities such as trash receptacles and benches helps to complete the space, and bike racks are great for those who start their exercise even before they arrive at the gym!



Greenfields Outdoor Fitness Inc.