Adult Fitness Parks: Design Best Practices
Fitness parks offer many health benefits: Improving cardiovascular health, building strength, and developing greater flexibility to name a few.
Most anyone can participate in a well-designed outdoor fitness park. Using the following best practices will help you create one that is well-rounded and used by a wide range of people in your community.
Best Practices for Design
Choose the equipment for your fitness park to meet community goals, budget and space, and ensure equipment addresses each of the following elements.
Aerobic Fitness. Cardio endurance activities increase heart function, help maintain healthy weight. Examples: Cardio Walker, recumbent cycle, rowing machines, air walkers
Muscle Fitness: strength, resistance, and endurance training. Muscular strength is an important part of your body’s ability to move and lift things. It helps reduce the risk of injury and enables effective functional movement. Examples: Parallel bars, pull up bars, jump bar, horizontal ladder
Core Fitness: abdomen, lower back, and pelvic exercises. Developing strength in these areas will help with good posture and most body movement involves the core so you want to ensure it is strong. Examples: Chest press, lat pull down, leg press
Balance Training. Kinesthetic awareness is critical to maintain stabilization, coordination, and to help prevent falls. Examples: balance beam, balance board station
Flexibility Training: Stability, coordination, range of motion. These areas also assist with posture, as well as injury prevention and athletic ability. Examples: Skill trainer, stretching post, assisted step around
When designing your fitness park, keep the following in mind:
- Some equipment can provide more than one fitness benefit.
- Single pieces of equipment are great for locations with limited space.
- Bike racks, benches or a fitness/walking trail or pathway gives users added cardiovascular exercise opportunities
- When placing equipment, consider the flow, communication between users and adequate use zones. For instance, arranging equipment in a circular or collaborative pattern encourages communication among users.
- Design with line of sight in mind. For instance, designing in a semicircular pattern can provide sight lines to play areas for parents/guardian supervision.
- Clear spaces around the equipment offer areas to do bodyweight resistance exercises.
Resources for You
- MaxPlayFit Outdoor Fitness
Types of Fitness Equipment to Consider
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