Are more communities investing in outdoor fitness equipment? Absolutely! Outdoor fitness parks have been around for years, but their popularity has increased significantly in recent years due to the rising rates of obesity and the COVID-19 pandemic. These parks not only provide a safe and convenient alternative to indoor gyms, but they also help people stay connected to their communities.
If you are considering adding an outdoor fitness park to your community, you’re onto something great! Here’s why fitness parks are a growing trend that you’ll want to take advantage of.
Promote Healthy Communities
Obesity rates are at all-time highs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that obesity is a “common, serious and costly disease.” In 2017-2018, the US obesity prevalence was 42.4 percent. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity was $147 billion in 2008, and the disease raises the risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.
The best ways to prevent obesity are to eat healthy foods and exercise. Because many people struggle to get to the gym, outdoor fitness parks are a great alternative. Families in the community can visit the fitness park at a time that works for them, while also bringing along their children. This promotes healthy habits and healthier lifestyles.
Lower Stress and Crime Rates
Another reason why outdoor fitness equipment is a growing trend is because it reduces stress in individuals and families. Within minutes of being outdoors in nature, you can boost your endorphin levels and dopamine production, producing more happiness.
Spending time in nature also reduces cortisol levels, a stress hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body. It’s important to have outlets for stress because high stress levels in communities can lead to higher rates of maladaptive behaviors, violence and crime.
Provide a Space for Training
Outdoor fitness equipment doesn’t just offer members of a community a place to work out. It also provides a place where police officers, firefighters, EMTs and others can engage in training. Because these roles often involve working in challenging outdoor conditions, outdoor fitness parks are a great way to strengthen skills and improve overall mood and happiness.
Encourage Generational Fun
Families are always looking for new outdoor activities that will include the entire family. Because outdoor fitness parks are versatile, they can accommodate people of all ages and abilities. Many are built alongside or adjacent to inclusive playgrounds, interactive play and sports equipment, or even dog parks. This allows the whole family to spend time outdoors with each other—including their furry four-legged members.
There’s no question that outdoor fitness equipment is an emerging trend that more communities are looking to provide. To discuss your needs for outdoor fitness equipment in your community, contact Cunningham Recreation today.