Outdoor fitness zones provide free workouts at parks, family time, and fun.
Spring is in the air, and getting fit doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sweat it out inside a gym for every work out, as a growing number of cities are utilizing the potential of parks and urban green spaces to promote fitness and healthy living.
Parks are one of our greatest natural resources, covering over a million and a half acres in the United States, and outdoor fitness zones are a great way to bring out communities and engage with each other. Plus, fresh air perfectly complements workouts at any time of day, and studies from the Environmental Science and Technology journal show that exercising outdoors leads to more enjoyable exercise and higher levels of vitality and self-esteem.
Not only that, but fitness parks are fun for the whole family. Being active as a family helps instill the importance of physical activity and healthy living in kids, as parents set the example for living a healthy lifestyle. Setting a good example now could pay dividends for the future, and not only is your family burning calories, but bonding as well. Fitness parks can provide the push that many need to create regular and effective exercise routines for the whole family.
That’s the idea behind the Memphis Grizzlies Riverfront Pop-Up Park and Fitness Trail (RiverFIT) at Tom Lee Park, an outdoor fitness area bordering the beautiful Mississippi River introduced in September 2014. Six stations were installed along the park, along with two beach sand volleyball courts and a lined soccer field, and park usage has since increased 250%, marking fitness zones as an effective way to increase park attendance at the iconic park.
As members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, we encourage use of the Together Counts™ program, which centers around healthy living through energy balance. Outdoor fitness zones provide a way for those who are unable to go to gyms an area to create a structured and effective workout. As fitness stations can create a fitness culture and drive people to more spontaneous workouts, refitting local parks with exercise equipment encourages residents to maintain energy balance, engage in physical activity and have fun doing it.
By investing collectively and working collaboratively, the Memphis Grizzlies organization- its owners, players and its charitable foundation – is creating lasting change to the way we live, learn and play. Connect with Grizz Community on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or learn more at www.grizzliesfoundation.org.
For more fun ways to get active outdoors, check out these other articles from Together Counts.