While outdoor fitness zones have been highlighted and displayed for several years at park and recreation conferences; it seems they are finally getting noticed by the media as a real solution to public health issues including obesity.
A feature article which ran this week in USA Today opens:
"No costly membership. Open 24-7. Doesn't take up any space in your home. And it's good for you.
Free outdoor gyms, the latest weapon in fighting the nation's obesity epidemic, are sprouting up in city parks across the country. Clusters of traditional fitness equipment from elliptical machines to leg press and sit-up benches are being installed in city parks, often in poorer neighborhoods that may not have access to healthful options.
Leading the effort is the Trust for Public Land, a non-profit land conservation group that created its Fitness Zones program about three years ago to help cities fund outdoor health playgrounds."
In the article, Adrian Benepe, senior vice president and director of city park development for the Trust explains that the program has gone gangbusters," He says. "Essentially, it's like an outdoor gym with new varieties of exercise equipment built to withstand the rigor of weather vandalism." The fitness zones which have been popular overseas are just catching on in the United States.
If you have these fitness zones in your parks or have used them (as I did while visiting Tel Aviv) please comment below.