Planning for an outdoor fitness space can be a fun adventure, and provides many options. There are a variety of elements that can be included to promote a total body workout, while ensuring comfort and usability. When thinking about what types of equipment to use for the space, consider the needs of your community as well as placement, sight lines and other amenities to support the use of the park.
Spacing within the overall typology, (configuring the individual pieces of equipment) is an important consideration in promoting participation, and will also depend on the ways you wish to engage the community. For organized classes led by a certified fitness trainer, you should consider that the number of participants may exceed the pieces of equipment offered. Providing clear space around or within the equipment is important, so he site meets current safety standards, and so the trainer can guide additional users in exercises that utilize body weight or portable equipment, like hand weights or bands.
Users may bring friends to the outdoor adult fitness park, so configuring equipment to promote communication between them is an important consideration for use. If you are designing a fitness trail, installing equipment to facilitate more than one user at each station along the trail helps ensure that people don’t have to stop their workout while waiting for the equipment to be available.
For Joint Use Fitness Zones placed within sight of a playground communication and sight lines are crucial. Parents will want to be able to supervise their children; installing in close proximity to the play area helps ensure parents can watch their children while exercising. Position it outside the use zone of the playground to help identify that it is not part of the play equipment and is designed for older users.
Equipment and Signage
Consider what fitness elements to include in order to support a well-rounded workout. How will instructional signage be incorporated to promote usage with proper form? How will the equipment be placed to encourage maximum use? Consider the typologies and exercise variety shown in Outdoor Adult Fitness®, and consult with users of the space to understand their needs, concerns, and questions in order to ensure the space enjoys maximum usage. Include options for all levels and abilities, so your space is usable to the greatest extent possible.
“You get the best of both worlds, muscle exercises like a gym, along with the cardio benefits that you’d normally want to do outside.” - Lan Wallace, Outdoor Adult Fitness Park User