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Think park playgrounds are just for children? Think again! The playground is now a place where families can come together for recreation and fitness: today’s modern parks are being built with adult and children’s fitness in mind. It used to be that an adult would find it difficult to fit into all the playground equipment nooks and crannies, however new equipment being developed today makes it easy for children and adults to enjoy being together while working out.

In addition to giving care givers and children a shared experience outdoors, adult fitness parks are being developed to help stem the steadily rising problem of adult obesity. These new fitness parks encourage physical activity which is both affordable and enjoyable. Current research shows that this outdoor fitness equipment is providing adults a means to more vigorous physical activity. This equipment is free for use by the public and may be in areas near playgrounds or other recreation spaces.

The local community will also benefit from having outdoor exercise equipment available to the public, which include combating obesity for people of all fitness levels and creating a social outlet for the community. This encourages interest in health, nutrition and educational programs. Having these outdoor fitness areas located within sight of children’s playground equipment, encourages families to work out together. Having this positive influence can start children down the road to lifelong fitness.

Overall benefits of exercising, multiply when using outdoor equipment. According to actionfitoutdoors.com, ” Research shows that exercising outdoors has many benefits that may not be realized in an indoor environment. People with greater access to green environments exhibit better well-being and functioning scores in social, physical, and psychological domains.

In addition, there is research showing outdoor exercise:
– Can prevent certain diseases
– Improves adherence rates to exercise
– Provides greater feelings of revitalization and positive enjoyment
– Decreases tension, confusion, anger, and depression
– Increases energy
– Helps seniors reach higher levels of physical activity.”
– Get Vitamin D
– Boost serotonin
– Improve overall mood and well-being

Gary Liguori, PhD. is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the head of the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr. Liguori believes there are four elements of fitness critical for everyone in terms of overall wellness and to in chronic disease prevention: aerobic fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and balance. When choosing the equipment for adult fitness parks, designers are able to pinpoint what area(s) of fitness each piece of equipment will target.