Throughout the past few years, outdoor exercise has become increasingly popular as people adjusted their workouts to keep moving when they could not use traditional gym environments. Although most gyms are open for business again, many people have continued to enjoy getting their exercise outdoors. At the same time, outdoor equipment has been evolving to accommodate all fitness levels and is made with durable, weather-proof materials. This article explores some of the additional reasons why there has been an increased demand for outdoor fitness equipment for community parks and open space.

Offering outdoor fitness equipment is an investment in the community at large and provides benefits for everyone. Outdoor fitness equipment allows for movement at any age, compared to playgrounds that target kids ages 2-12.  It can be particularly beneficial to young teens who have begun to age out of play equipment but still want to exercise. Fitness areas can also be great for older users who may wish to add some strength and conditioning without the need to join a gym, or parents who want to get their own workout while their children play at the playground.

Outdoor fitness equipment also offers the opportunity to be competitive. This competitive spirit can be between peers or against oneself. Often the equipment has different levels of engagement that correspond to varying fitness levels, so a user can assess their progress over time. Fitness courses offer progressive paths where individual users or teams can time themselves against one another to encourage dynamic group experiences. Competition brings a new level of fun to fitness activities that can quickly become routine.

When fitness equipment is found outdoors, it offers additional ways to exercise in nature. Stationary cardio activities such as bikes, ellipticals and stiders are now made to withstand the elements. Circuit training, fitness courses, and balancing activities bring strength training activities outdoors as well. The added benefit to having these various activities available outdoors is the impact that being in nature can have mental health. Nature settings and fresh air have been known to have calming effects on people and increase serotonin levels. While exercise leads to increased endorphins. Combining the two can be especially mood-boosting, beyond what is possible from the gym alone.

With so many benefits to communities, it is easy to see why outdoor fitness areas are quickly becoming a part of future planning. The best part is that outdoor fitness can be completely customized to the needs of the community and available space. This is one trend that is not slowing down anytime soon.