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How to use outdoor gym equipment

Ever thought about using an outdoor gym but not had the confidence? Read our guide to find out all you need to know!

In recent years outdoor gyms have become increasingly popular in the UK, despite the weather!  You’ll probably be surprised at how many are already installed in a park near you. These gyms are completely free to use, they are available to use all year round, at a time and day that suits you. So how do you use them?

Each park will have a selection of gym equipment and the variety is ultimately selected by the local council or group that paid for it, so no two gyms look the same.

Guidance is always provided at the time of product selection to ensure there is a variety of gym equipment that will benefit the whole community. Products are usually categorised by the core benefit they give to the body, although it’s important to remember that most equipment offers multiple benefits, and these shouldn’t be ignored.

Each product has a workout sign that gives simple straight forward instructions on how to use it and for how long. 

Fresh Air Fitness also has an app, if you download this to your phone, you’ll find every product in our range, instructions for using the equipment and video’s showing you how to use it.

Top tips: as with any exercise, you should keep well hydrated, so carry a bottle of water with you. When you use the equipment, keep a good posture, hold your tummy muscles tight, keep you back straight and go slow and steady, building up gradually.

Cardio

Products in the cardio range are created to increase heart rate, get the blood pumping round the body and burn fat. Doing regular cardio exercise will increase heart muscles strength, lower cholesterol, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, boost mood and self-esteem, improve sleep and help you reduce fat in the body.

Equipment such as the Bike, Elliptical Cross Trainer, Double Air Walker, Air Skier, Cross Country Skier and Rider are all great examples of this.

To use one of the ‘stand up’ pieces, such as the Air Walker, simply use the handle bar to steady yourself, step each foot one at a time onto the footplates/ pedals and begin to move your legs forwards and backwards in a rhythmic, smooth motion.

To use one of the ‘sit down’ for example the Bike, take a seat, grasp the handles and place feet of the pedals and start to cycle legs in a rhythmic, smooth motion.

Strength

Products in this range are designed to help build muscular strength, but in doing this, they’ll naturally elevate the heart rate and help you to tone your body too. Doing regular strength exercise will also strengthen your bones, burn fat, improve heart health, control blood sugar levels, reduce risk of injury, improve flexibility, boost mood and self-esteem.  

Because the equipment uses your bodyweight, these are tough to do, so start slowly. Follow the instructions on the equipment for a beginner, a couple of reps, e.g. 2 chest presses, is plenty to start. You’ll soon develop strength the more you use the equipment and you can increase reps at your own pace.

Equipment such as the self-weighted rower, seated chest-press and pull-down challenger are ideal if you’re new to exercise. They use a percentage of your body weight rather than lifting, pushing or pulling your entire body weight.

So, if we take the chest press, simply sit on the seat, hold the handles so that your hands are roughly in line with your chest. Take a breath, push out away from your body while exhaling and return the bar back towards your chest, breathing in as you go, and it’s as simple as that, 1 chest press complete!

Other strength pieces in our range include the Push Up & Dip Station, Triple Pull up and of course the Big Rig, all suitable for for beginners through to regular weight lifters who want to build or maintain muscle.

Flexibility and balance

Products in our flexibility, balance and co-ordination range have been developed to help you increase and maintain your flexibility and develop balance. These are incredibly important for whole body development.

Products in this range include T’ai Chi Spinners, Leg Stretch, Big Should Wheel

Good flexibility will allow your body to retain a greater range of movement. It’ll help to prevent injury and keep the bloody circulating round your body well.  Using these pieces to stretch your muscles before and after a workout will keeping you supple and ready for your next workout session. 

Balance is also incredibly important. We need it for everything we do, and we must continue to develop it to retain normal joint function, good posture and muscular balance. These pieces of outdoor gym equipment will also help to build your core strength and prevent falls.

We know how daunting it is to get started with exercise, most of us feel the same. However, we also know that getting and keeping fit and healthy is so important for our physical and mental wellbeing. Our outdoor gym equipment has been designed to make life simple, it’s user friendly, very low impact on joints, and, when used regularly, will bring genuine health benefits.  So why not swing by your local outdoor gym today and give it a go!

 

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