To allow the whole community to make use of our outdoor gyms we have developed 3 pieces of equipment specifically for wheelchair users.
27th June 2022
Everyone should enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and exercise is just as important to the health and wellbeing of people with a long-term disability, as it is for anyone else.
Whatever your preferences and level of physical ability, there is more investment in understanding and providing for the needs of people living with a disability in the UK than ever before.
From team sports, to outdoor gym equipment specifically designed to accommodate a wheelchair, find something you enjoy and aim for the NHS guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week*.
*Always speak to your GP for what suits your disability first.
A Disability is defined in law as “a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities” (Equality Act 2010).
We know that almost one in five people in England have a long-standing limiting disability or illness, which represents around 18 million people, and that, when compared to other groups, disabled people are much less likely to take part in sport or physical activity. Furthermore, according to Sport England, almost 70% of people living with a long-term disability are over the age of 50.
Following investment and guidelines from Sport England more and more grass roots sports and activity providers are factoring in a provision for people with disabilities and there is an increasing range of resources for disabled people looking for choices near to where they live.
Charitable organisation, Sense, has a postcode tool to help you find an activity near you if you have a disability and would like to get active www.sense.org.uk/our-services/activities/?_type=sport
Get Yourself Active is another amazing resource https://getyourselfactive.org/guide/how-to-get-active-for-disabled-people/
Fresh Air Fitness have been designing, manufacturing and installing outdoor gyms in the UK since 2007 and as part of our range we have incorporated three key exercise pieces which support cardio, strength and functional training for people with reduced mobility or a disability.
It is free to use your outdoor gym. Contact your local council office to find out where the nearest outdoor gym is to you. They will also be able to provide you information on groups which regularly use the equipment if you prefer to exercise with other people.
The Disabled Arm & Pedal Bike is an excellent low impact piece of outdoor fitness equipment. Go at your own pace, using either arms only, or legs only or both. There is plenty of space to comfortably move your wheelchair into place and once the brakes are engaged, you are ready to enjoy your workout.
While you are exercising, try to sit up tall and use your abs to maintain good posture. This will better engage your core.
The cycling motion provides a highely beneficial cardio workout, increasing blood flow to your body and oxygen to your lungs, whilst building overall strength and stamina.
The Chest Press and Pull-Down Challenger is one complete unit, comprised of two fully functional working pieces of exercise equipment. There is plenty of space to reverse your wheelchair back to the main frame between the handles on either side of the equipment, ready to workout. To ensure you get a good workout, resistance is built into the equipment. By increasing reps and sets over time, you can develop strength further.
This is a great exercise to target and develop all of the muscles in the chest.
To begin, grip the handles, exhale on the way out and inhale on the return. The gold standard during strength training is exhale during exertion and inhale on relaxation.
Keep all movement smooth and controlled as this will increase the intensity of the exercise. It will also allow you to feel the muscles being worked.
By building up to more and more sets, over time, you will increase and maintain a new level of muscle strength in your chest.
The Chest Press is a great piece of outdoor gym equipment for everyone, whether you are a beginner, returning back to exercise or you have a regular exercise routine.
Similar to a lateral pull down machine, which you might find in an indoor gym, the Pull-Down Challenger targets upper body muscles & uses your own body weight as the resistance.
To get started with the Pull-Down Challenger, lock your wheelchair into position, grip both handles with your hands and then steadily pull down towards you in a slow controlled motion. By moving slowly and staying in control, you apply your own strength through an entire movement, rather than using speed and letting momentum do all the hard work.
The outdoor gym equipment provided by Fresh Air Fitness is designed to be accessible, safe and easy to use. The disability range provides strength and cardio activities for the upper and lower body with the added benefit of being outdoors in the natural daylight and fresh air.
Each piece of outdoor gym equipment provided by Fresh Air Fitness comes with integrated labels etched with white writing to aid users who are visually impaired.
The best part about a Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gym is that it’s open 24/7 to the general public and always completely free to use.
You can find your local Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gym here: https://www.freshairfitness.co.uk/site-installationsor by downloading our excellent new app – which also gives you work out suggestions.
Outdoor disability fitness equipment is perfect for parks and green spaces, but it is also excellent as part of an urban or residential regeneration project. It provides so much more than just a ‘free to use’ fitness solution. It has long-lasting benefits to whole communities including improvements in social cohesion, community health and a reduction in anti-social behaviour, loneliness and isolation.
If you would like to find out more, one of our team of outdoor gym specialists would love to hear from you on 01483 608 860 (South) or 0151 3293550 (North). Alternatively, please complete our contact us form and someone will come straight back to you to arrange a convenient time to discuss your particular requirements.Back to all blog posts