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before and after shot of Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gym

Vivo Care Home Expands Facilities with an Outdoor Gym


To support and improve the health and well-being of people under their care.

The Background

Vivo Care Choices, situated in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, offers invaluable services and support for people with learning disabilities and autism, and older people, including those with dementia. A group of parents formed their own not-for-profit charitable organisation to help raise funds for the residents and their families.

The charity wanted to develop a fitness provision at the site. Their vision was to transform an unused area of grass within the grounds, into an area where people of all ages and abilities could exercise and socialise. Having considered various options, they raised money to provide the residents with their own fully functional outdoor gym.

The Challenge

The focus for the client was to provide residents with equipment that would maintain flexibility, co-ordination and balance, reducing the chance of falls. To increase fitness levels through aerobic exercises, improving cardiovascular health, and to build muscular strength across the body, in particular core strength. To ensure all residents could use the facility, equipment suitable for use with a wheelchair was also required.

The Solution

The result was a 5 piece, 6 user gym, providing a whole body workout. The gym consisted of a Double Air Walker, Elliptical Cross Trainer, Arm and Pedal Bike, Disabled Arm and Pedal Bike for wheelchair users and a Recumbent Bike, all pictured above..

Easy access was provided for wheelchair users with grass matting between the path and the equipment designed for use with a wheelchair. The same surfacing was installed under the other pieces to protect the grass and allow access all year round. The equipment was positioned in a circular formation, with pieces facing inwards, to allow people to enjoy each other’s company or follow an instructor irrespective of the piece of equipment being used. The site is also well lit, so the gym can be used in the winter afternoons and evenings.

“the residents and staff love the gym, it’s been a great addition to our services and hopefully will bring happiness to more residents and staff over the years”


The Benefits

  • An outdoor gym that combines flexibility, strength and cardiovascular fitness for optimum wellbeing
  • Supporting people to remain independent for as long as possible
  • A facility for group fitness classes, or individual use
  • A place for social interaction, an important part in maintaining mental well-being
  • A place to recovery after injury, with low joint impact options
  • Regeneration of an otherwise unused area of land

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