Top 5 Options:
What To Consider When Buying Outdoor Fitness Equipment?
People in charge of purchasing exercise equipment for parks and other outdoor fitness spaces know that they have many options, but not all of those address the demographic they serve. They must take into consideration many choices in terms of type of stations, selection of stations, etc. For example, it is critically important that you make choices that don't take up too much space, are accessible to all people, are age-appropriate, and are ideal for helping your specific group of fitness enthusiasts.
What About Populations with Physical Limitations?
As we previously mentioned, when it comes to outfitting a park, or any other space, with outdoor fitness equipment you must serve your particular demographic. At times that will mean for people both with and without physical limitations. Those with disabilities also have the desire to stay healthy, avoid a sedentary lifestyle, and experience wellness. Obesity is a core issue in our society, whether adults or kids in schools across the country and the commitment to physical activity helps communities immensely.
Actively exercising is a small price to pay for experiencing a healthier life and this is no different for disabled populations. The outdoor fitness equipment we'll be referencing in this article was designed specifically for those populations and every piece has a way for them to play and join in on the fun and challenge themselves!
Best Accessible and ADA Compliant Outdoor Workout Equipment
Have you ever wanted to recapture the feelings that you had in your youth? The quality of life and health that you enjoyed. It may not be possible to turn back the hands of time like this, but there are a lot of people that use the ActionFit chest press and say that they feel so much better after a nice session with this machine. This is because the machine is designed to strengthen their bodies all throughout. It makes for an appealing choice for any outdoor fitness space.
How Is It Designed?
The chest press has a strong steel construction with a rust-resistant coating to help ensure it will stand up strong against all weather conditions. On top of that, the ActionFit Chest Press has grip handles that make it easier for users of any age to maintain their grip and balance while using this device.
But How Is It Designed To Be Accessible?
The beauty of the ActionFit Chest Press is that it is two-sided. One side has a seat, and the other is left open so it can be utilized by those in wheelchairs. Given this piece can be used by two patrons at once, it makes for a great addition to a diverse fitness site.
Is The Lat Pull Down Good For All Ages And Physical Abilities?
The Lat pull down machine is designed for anyone aged 13 or older, and it is also meant to be used by both the able bodies and those with physical limitations. Similar to the ActionFit Chest Press, the Lat pull down has a side with space available making it easier for those in wheelchairs. It is:
- ADA approved
- Designed for use by all types of people to promote socializing between all different types of groups of people
- Equipped with a sticker sign teaching people how to perform the movement
Lat pull down machines are particularly beneficial when people can't perform pull-ups. It will allow those users to strengthen that movement and their grip strength, arms and upper back so that they can progress to pull-ups over time.
How about getting an intense cardiovascular workout for your biceps and arms? That is what you will find with the ActionFit handcycle. You just use your hands and arms to push this thing around in circles as you feel the burn. This machine would make for a great fit and is bound to get your user's heart rates sky high!
How Does It Do In Terms Of Accessibility?
Once installed, it can be used by anyone in a wheelchair. This would be especially useful for an outdoor fitness site because it will allow your patrons to "get their cardio in" without needing to use their lower body. Running, cycling, elliptical etc, all of these movements require people to be on their feet. With the Handcycle that won't be an issue!
Now, you may have a version of this piece of workout gear t your local playgrounds. The truth is, from a fitness perspective, the parallel bar is a great way to work out and start building your body. They contribute to your wellness by helping you work on critical elements such as balance and upper body strength. This model will still blend in with the rest of the playground equipment but it will also allow handicapped populations to benefit as well.
As for Accessibility?
The parallel bars do NOT require you to stand up in order to use them. Thus, they are highly desirable in an outdoor workout space. They make it easier for people to get together and talk with one another as they work out because they can all work out on the same station at the same time, or take turns. They are made from all stainless steel materials to protect them from the weather, and they are strong and sturdy.
An Enlightening Case Study
Warner Park in Chattanooga, TN is a great case study for how accessible fitness stations are bringing people together. That particular location has:
- A community playground
- Tennis courts
- A softball diamond
- A pool
- A fitness center
- And even a zoo!
Along with all of these highly attractive features, they also has parallel bars. The people who planned this park wanted to make sure they got the very best for their guests, and that meant finding pieces that were handicap accessible and made sense for their guests to use. Thus, they felt like putting in parallel bars that were accessible to all was a good choice. You could take from their example and consider these parallel bars for your park as well.
This outdoor station is a great choice for any space looking to provide people with physical limitations the opportunity to use something that can build their strength in ways they might never have dreamed possible. The chin-up station is specifically designed to help those with physical limitations find a way to participate in many of the same types of exercises enjoyed by other people, but in a way that is accessible to them.
Are Chin-Ups A Great Choice For People With Physical Limitations?
The reason to consider the chin up as one of the best types of exercise that you can do is given by Masterclass.com:
Chin-ups improve your grip strength. The chin-up activates the brachioradialis muscles in your forearms, which increases grip strength. By enhancing your grip strength, chin-ups can be useful warm-ups for other compound exercises like lat pulldowns, parallel bar push-ups, barbell curls or any other sports movement.
People using this station can access it from the ground. You will see all of these benefits from the moment you start to use a chin-up device, and that should give you plenty of reasons to consider this as an ideal part of what you are doing with your outdoor workout routine. Chin-ups are the pinnacle of bodyweight exercise so it would be ideal to allow everyone the opportunity to challenge themselves with the movement.
There are a lot of tools that you could consider for your outdoor gym space and fighting obesity, but this is a great place to start. More and more outdoor fitness equipment is being designed for those with physical limitations in mind. After all, we all just want to get our bodies stronger and to enjoy the company of other people outdoors or at the park. Therefore, it just makes sense that we might also want equipment that is designed with their specific needs in mind.
There's a lot more that goes into choosing the proper outdoor fitness equipment for disabled populations than people think. Of course any physical activity is better than none but if you want to maximize the usage of the new equipment and the health of your patrons it helps to have a plan:
- Account for physical disabilities
- Choose equipment based off of your normal demographic (ensure it's age appropriate)
- Full-Body usability - Select stations that allow people to work their entire body
All of the outdoor workout stations referenced here are made of quality materials and built to stand up to the weather and constant use, so stick to those parameters and your decision process should become much simpler. Encouraging outdoor physical activities is a great step to creating a healthier and happier community!
Don't hesitate to contact us if you have specific questions about your project!