Outdoor Adult Fitness

Best Practices for Promoting Community Health

Outdoor Adult Fitness

Best Practices for Promoting Community Health by Increasing Physical Activity

With the constant increase in adult obesity, encouraging regular physical activity is an important consideration for public health. It is time to think about new ways to make physical activity and exercise more accessible, available, affordable, pleasurable, and ultimately, more useful to society. Research is supporting the notion that Outdoor Fitness Parks for adults provide a variety of relevant outcomes to community inhabitants through their increased participation in more moderate to vigorous physical activity.

We know that health and wellness begins with building healthy communities. By offering physical education and outdoor fitness opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, we can promote healthy behavior, encourage active lifestyles, and encourage community engagement. Through our fitness research with experts in the field, we have documented the many benefits that exercise in the outdoors offers to adults. The book also reviews best-practice guidelines for aligning to health benefits and total body fitness when designing outdoor fitness spaces, in order to promote functional fitness around the parameters of a well-rounded workout, including aerobic activity, core development, muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. The guidebook also reviews meaningful strategies for implementation and sustainability of the space, provides information on marketing and programming, a variety of ways to track outcomes, and a series of case examples highlighting the unique ways communities brought fitness opportunities to their spaces. Outdoor fitness spaces designed with us utilizing this research are eligible for the National Demonstration Site Award program. Learn how we're changing the face of outdoor fitness in a positive, engaging way!

Our Advisory Network

Along with a variety of industry professionals, fitness leaders, organizational advocates, and local champions across a variety of communities, these experts played a critical role in the development of this collaborative resource.

Michael Suk, MD, JD, MPH, FACS

Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery, Geisinger Health System Danville, PA

Gary Liguori, PhD, FACSM

Inaugural Dean, Provost and Senior Vice President, University of West Florida

Thom McKenzie, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences San Diego State University

Let's Get Started

Build an outdoor adult fitness space

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Download the Executive Summary


Download a sample Outdoor Fitness Park Maintenance Checklist


Find a Fitness National Demonstration Site

Learn More

Download the Community Needs Assessment