Outdoor gyms are free to use and can be accessed as long as there is sufficient light, but what makes a great outdoor gym?
Is your equipment safe with long warranties? Make sure supplier equipment complies with the prevailing European standard, EN16630, and your supplier offers long warranties to cover any future problems.
Do you have a good mix of pieces? Another good starting point, trying to encompass resistance pieces, ones to cover cardio and at least a piece to cover flexibility and balance. Also the right mix can be inclusive and cover all those over 14 year of age and the range of different physical abilities.
• Resistance training has numerous benefits for all ages and all sexes if undertaken on a regular basis. Resistance or strength pieces come in various shapes and sizes. The most popular piece is our combination piece which, given it has a separate pull down and chest press included, covers most upper body muscles. Our most versatile piece is our leg lift station, which can cover exercises for the core, pull ups, chin ups, dips and more!
• Cardio exercise helps keep the heart healthy and our double air walker, air skier and arm and pedal bike are perfect pieces for this, where effort can be varied depending on your level of fitness.
• Flexibility and balance should not be forgotten and our leg stretch is a great all-round piece to cover this. It has different levels such that people of all heights can perform key stretches for the hamstrings, calves and thigh. It can also be used to help balance when undertaking body weight squats and incline press ups.
Clear and simple signage is a must to support users. As well as identifying safety points, a simple guide to the equipment’s use and how it should be used by those with different fitness levels is key. In addition, being able to access online instructional “how to use” content via the web is also useful.
Site location is also a key consideration. Our experience has certainly shown that equipment which is easy to access is usually more popular. Plentiful parking and a gym located near to parking areas and paths can be helpful, particularly if wheelchair access pieces are installed.
To encourage greater use, it is important to make the gym a social and fun place to be. This can be done by incorporating double pieces. Research has shown that users are more likely to keep exercising if they workout with another person or in a group. Great double pieces are the cross-country skier and seated leg press.
To publicise their gym some of our customers have run a session with a free breakfast at the end of it or free sessions led by a local instructor. We ourselves has run sessions to publicise the opening of our outdoor gyms, whilst also offering further use support . Don’t forget to use social media if you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram!
Fresh Air Fitness gyms can be found in parks across the UK. To find your nearest one here