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NHS Colne Ward New Outdoor Gym

Outdoor exercise park unveiled at NHS Colne Ward to support the improvement of patient’s mental health


We are delighted to announce the new outdoor gym has been installed on CNWL’s Colne Ward, based at Riverside Centre in Hillingdon. Situated next to the acute treatment ward, allowing service users and staff to exercise in a secure open-air environment.

NHS Colne Ward Outdoor Gym Equipment

The Background

Colne Ward is a psychiatric intensive care unit at the Riverside Centre. It provides mental health care and treatment for people whose acute distress, absconding risk, and suicidal or challenging behaviour needs. As part of this recovery programme, regular exercise is essential, and the centre approached Fresh Air Fitness to create their vision of an outdoor gym that would allow patients and staff to incorporate more exercise into their daily routine, improving fitness and mental wellbeing.

The Challenges

The trust wanted the gym to be accessible to all patients, of all abilities and to provide workout options for strength, cardio and a more relaxed, fun leisure activity. The project also included the removal of an old smoking shelter and surfacing that had become worn and perished over time. The installation team needed to work within the secure area, ensuring they kept staff, patients and themselves safe at all times.

The Solution

Fresh Air Fitness successfully installed a 5-piece, 7 user, outdoor gym, set in the fresh air, upon an all-weather rubber mulch surface, allowing people to use the facility all year round. The new outdoor gym provides a mix of cardio and strength building equipment along with a table tennis table, perfect for some lighthearted fun whilst also providing a great cardio workout.

The chest press and pull down challenger provide upper body strength building and definition. Taking 30% of the user’s body weight, these offer a challenging work out, but one that patients could develop quickly, increasing reps and even adding bands to increase the resistance further. An elliptical cross trainer and an arm and pedal bike from the cardio range. Not only to improve heart health and burn calories, but pedalling helps improve cognitive function, memory and attention. Hormones released during the workout and the action of pedalling with both your arms and your legs, boosts brain function and mood. Used regularly, patients will find they sleep better, reduce stress and anxiety levels while improving their physical health and endurance.

A rider, to build strength and definition along the legs and upper body. And finally, a table tennis table, providing a recreational element for the patients to enjoy. Not only is playing table tennis enjoyable and a great way to burn calories, but it stimulates mental alertness and improves cognitive function.

The Result

Patients now can work out in a stunning environment, and in the fresh air, supporting the improvement of their physical and mental health. Service users can use the equipment on a 1-2-1 basis with staff, join group classes or workout in their free time, alone or with others.

Mood enhancing and confidence building, the outdoor gym will make a positive impact to all those who use it regularly. In addition, when patients leave the ward, they will have access to Fresh Air Fitness gyms in parks across the UK. They’ll be confident in using the equipment, giving them the opportunity to continue using it as part of their new routine.

We are really happy with the result. This is a great way for service users on the ward to get exercise and they don’t miss out on any activities. We are looking forward to being able to promote and provide physical wellbeing to our service users


we’re delighted with the service provided by Fresh Air Fitness. Service users are already enjoying and benefitting from using the outdoor gym equipment


The Benefits

  • Mood enhancing and confidence building, the outdoor gym will make a positive impact to service users and staff
  • Equipment can be used 1-2-1 with patients and staff, in group classes or independently
  • The outdoor gym equipment improves heart health, burns calorie and improves cognitive function, memory and attention
  • Table Tennis provides a fun cardio workout along with many other benefits, including increased memory performance and reduced blood pressure
  • The outdoor gym can be used all year round thanks to the rubber mulch surfacing
  • Once patients are ready to leave the ward, they can continue to use Fresh Air Fitness gyms, for free, in their local parks

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Installation Time-lapse

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