How Fitness Stations Can Help Decrease Obesity in Adults
People at all stages of life can benefit from physical activity. Adults looking to manage their weight in the healthiest way for them should add regular exercise to their daily or weekly routines. With the abundance of outdoor fitness stations in parks and other public spaces, physical fitness is more attainable than ever before.
Outdoor fitness stations are a fun community staple. Adults who want to implement healthy lifestyles can benefit from the convenience of fitness equipment designed specifically for building muscle and managing weight in a calming, low-stakes outdoor atmosphere. Sedentary lifestyles are increasingly common in today’s world, and fitness stations provide a helpful alternative that proves getting active is much more rewarding and just as fun!
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Consequences of Adult Obesity
In 2018, 42.5% of U.S. adults were obese, a number that has remained consistent over the past few years. People can struggle with their weight for many reasons. Body dysmorphia, mobility issues, chronic pain and underlying health problems detract from many people’s quality of life.
A person’s weight becomes unhealthy when it puts them at risk for conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Mental illness
Bodies consist of several interconnected systems. Issues affecting one system influence all the rest, from the organ functions to brain performance. The road to whole-body health can begin with a purposefully active lifestyle.
Following a regular exercise routine is a proven way for people to achieve overall physical and mental health so they can feel good about themselves inside and out. Weight-related health issues are a concern in communities across the country, and public spaces can address this by providing accessible exercise equipment.
Benefits of Regular Exercise
Maintaining an active lifestyle provides many benefits that can directly prevent or ease issues related to obesity. Most people know exercise can help them control their weight by burning calories, which can also help them stay under obesity levels. But working out also has many other positive returns that contribute to personal health, including:
- Reducing risk of heart disease
- Lowering blood pressure
- Managing blood sugar levels
- Improving mental health
- Strengthening cognitive skills
- Strengthening muscles and bones
- Reducing risk of cancer
- Increasing life expectancy
Exercise can also help people limit or stop unhealthy habits such as smoking. When people pour their energy and attention into habits that are good for them, they’re less likely to experience cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
Along with quitting unhealthy practices, people who exercise regularly may also be more likely to develop healthy habits in other areas of their life, such as eating nutritious meals, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated. Physical activity releases serotonin and endorphins, chemicals in the brain that help people feel good and develop confidence. When people engage in activities that make them happy, they’re more likely to continue to do those activities and build on them in the future.
You know your body better than anyone. Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and people can learn to achieve physical health in a way that works for them. For many people, being at a healthy weight means shedding extra pounds or maintaining their current weight, which they can often achieve through exercise.
Benefits of Outdoor Fitness Stations
Outdoor fitness stations are an excellent way to encourage the members of your community to engage in healthy habits. The holistic advantages of exercise extend far beyond weight loss. When paired with the unique perks of working out in fun, accessible outdoor environments, fitness stations provide many healthy living opportunities.
Here are nine ways fitness stations can help decrease adult obesity.
1. They Provide an Area to Exercise Outdoors
Spending time outdoors provides several health benefits. Outdoor spaces give people a break and a change of scenery from their busy lives, which often take place inside various buildings. The wide-open spaces in parks or other large exercise areas can provide mental restoration, freeing people from the sensory overload of daily responsibilities.
Spending time outdoors, especially on sunny days, also provides people with vitamin D from sun exposure. Vitamin D is crucial for bone strength, sugar digestion and calcium absorption. Obesity also puts people at higher risk of bone weakness and Type 2 diabetes, which vitamin D can help combat or prevent.
In addition to the general benefits of being outside, exercising outdoors, often called “green exercise,” provides a welcome contrast from indoor spaces. Green exercise helps people accomplish the following.
- Try new things: New, refreshing outdoor environments can inspire people to try activities that may seem daunting indoors. Someone who doesn’t respond well to the stark atmosphere of a gym setting may enjoy working out surrounded by trees and fresh air.
- Improve mental health: Research shows outdoor exercise has a more positive impact on mental health than indoor exercise because of the calming effects of nature mixed with the release of endorphins. If you enjoy working out, you’ll be more likely to develop it as a habit and increase your overall well-being.
- Exercise longer: Physical activity can feel easier when performed in natural spaces. People who exercise outdoors tend to challenge themselves further and exercise for longer periods than they would indoors without even realizing it.
2. They’re Often Free to the Public
Fitness stations are fixtures in parks and other public spaces, which are usually free for anyone to enjoy. Gym memberships can be expensive, and home fitness equipment takes up a lot of space. For people who are unwilling or unable to pay for memberships or home equipment, public fitness stations offer an accessible and equally effective alternative.
Obesity affects people of all socioeconomic statuses, but it’s most common in lower-income groups. Gym access is a luxury to many people, as is having the free time to use a commercial fitness space within business hours.
Free outdoor fitness stations reduce these concerns, providing added benefits such as these.
- Guilt-free fitness: People may find it easier and more rewarding to stick to a regular exercise schedule without financial constraints. Rather than limiting their exercise routines or not exercising at all to save money, people can use exercise stations as much as they like.
- Scheduling freedom: Many outdoor fitness stations are in places like parks that visitors can access outside regular gym hours, making them convenient for people with busy schedules.
- Additional savings: Parks with outdoor fitness stations are often a short drive away or within walking distance of people’s homes. Gyms can be miles from where people live or work and might be inaccessible to people who don’t own a car. With outdoor fitness stations close by, people can save money on gas or public transportation.
3. They’re Convenient
A significant draw of outdoor fitness stations is that they’re often in places people already frequent. For instance, parks and neighborhood courtyards tend to be in central locations people already visit to take walks, go on runs or spend time with family and friends.
Spaces such as parks may also host community events that bring people together for holidays, festivals and other celebrations. Many people already visit parks and are comfortable with the welcoming outdoor environments these spaces offer. When looking for a place to exercise, people may come across fitness equipment in their local green space and feel inspired to try it out.
Outdoor fitness stations also often exist alongside playgrounds. Parents and grandparents can take advantage of kids’ playtime to use the exercise equipment while they supervise the playground. Youthful energy can also inspire adults to approach their fitness activities with the same level of enthusiasm. Fitness stations are like playgrounds for adults — functional and fun.
4. They Encourage Social Workouts
People often benefit from the support of those around them while trying something new. Exercising with other people can boost morale and encourage people to meet and even exceed their goals. Fitness can be challenging, and testing your limits with a workout buddy can be fun and produce satisfying results.
Outdoor fitness stations provide an excellent opportunity for people to exercise with others who share the same goals and can inspire them to try harder and keep going. People can take advantage of fitness stations’ accessibility and invite their friends to work out at a time that works for everyone’s schedule. Or, they can meet new people who have the same desire to get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle.
Fitness stations positioned throughout parks and other public spaces are part of a large community of people working on healthy habits. While someone uses the exercise equipment, they may see people run, walk or cycle past them. Community parks are full of self-motivated people, who then inspire others.
When people see they’re not alone in their pursuit of physical well-being, they’ll want to continue on their health journeys and help those around them succeed as well!
5. They Offer Variety
Outdoor fitness areas boast many exciting pieces of equipment to work with. Some pieces look like standard fixtures you might find in a gym, while others are unique, such as Monkey Bars and Group Fit sets that seem more like playground equipment. Fitness stations are as fun to use as they are to look at, making adults feel like they’re kids at play again.
The variety of equipment available for outdoor fitness stations means users have many options to choose from depending on their abilities and health goals. They can easily switch over to the next piece of equipment when they want to try something else or come back the next day to try everything in a new workout order. The possibilities are endless, making reaching fitness goals an exciting activity.
Placing multiple pieces of equipment near each other also lets people have a well-balanced workout. Each piece of fitness equipment targets different muscle groups, so when people switch to a new activity or exercise, they’re on their way to checking off all the boxes for strengthening different muscles.
6. They Target Large Muscle Groups
One of the most notable benefits of fitness stations is how easy they are to use. Many stations come with signs that explain how to properly use the equipment for best results. When following instructions or using equipment with intuitive designs, people experience fun challenges while also gaining strength in specific muscle groups.
Obesity in adults links with poor muscle quality and function. Muscle functionality is crucial for daily activities and preventing serious falls and other causes of injury. Building and maintaining muscle is vital for a healthy lifestyle.
While many people think of exercise as a form of weight loss, it provides so much more. Certain exercises target specific muscle groups, so people can build the strength they need to move through their daily lives safely and efficiently and increase their exercise habits as time goes on. Strength training builds muscle, and it also keeps your bones healthy and helps your body process food, decreasing risks of brittle bones and diabetes.
The array of fitness station equipment available means there’s something for everyone’s fitness goals, whether they’re interested in gaining core strength or building muscle.
One notable advantage of outdoor fitness station equipment is that its compact, innovative designs can often work multiple muscle groups at once. Providing a complete selection of equipment will ensure users have access to well-balanced fitness routines.
Some equipment strengthens the different abdominal muscles, which are essential for core support during sitting, standing and bending down, as well as providing spinal protection. Hyperextension Benches specifically target deep core muscles.
Ab and Leg Equipment
Many abdominal and leg muscles have a close connection, and specific exercises can work both areas simultaneously, using equipment such as:
Leg and Arm Equipment
All the limb muscles work together to give bodies strength and stability while sitting, standing, walking and carrying out other fundamental activities. Fitness stations that target the limbs include Vertical Climbs and Rope Climbs.
Arm and Ab Equipment
Abdominal and arm muscles make up the body’s strong core. Equipment like Push-Up Bars efficiently strengthens arm and core muscles simultaneously.
Arm and Chest Equipment
Arm and chest muscles work together to provide the upper body strength necessary for lifting heavy objects and allowing for healthy support and motion of joints such as wrists, shoulders and elbows. Some fitness stations that target these muscle groups include:
Many pieces of equipment give people a whole-body workout with only one or two exercises. Bodies are highly interconnected structures, so people need to take care of themselves by doing exercises that integrate many muscle groups at once. Total-body equipment targets arms, legs and abs, and some also work chest and back muscles, which are necessary for spinal stability and arm movements.
Offer the convenience of a full-body workout with equipment like:
7. They Go Hand in Hand With Cardio Opportunities
Cardio exercise helps people maintain aerobic fitness, which is the ability of a person’s heart, lungs and muscles to work together during intense activity. Cardio leads to heart health and muscle fitness. Examples of cardio exercise include walking, running, cycling or playing sports.
Outdoor fitness stations are the perfect fitness complement for those who already practice cardio or would like to start. Many parks space out fitness stations along a path or trail, where people can walk, run or cycle between them. Many people already do cardio exercises in parks and other open spaces, so adding outdoor fitness stations would create an opportunity for people looking to add to their fitness routines or try something new.
Some equipment can aid in getting people’s heart rates up. Add Beam Jumps for people to jump over for an added cardio kick.
8. They’re Suitable for Beginning or Advanced Workouts
Providing multiple fitness station options allows people to choose their level of workout intensity. Someone looking for a simple way to start moving regularly can do a few reps on a couple of pieces of equipment, while someone who would like a more advanced routine can use multiple pieces of equipment for as long as they’d like. The versatility of workout stations means there’s something for everyone at every step of their health journey.
Equipment for beginners can be inviting for people who are new to creating an exercise regimen for themselves. People exercising for the first time in a while should start at a low intensity. Physical capabilities are a process, and many exercises take time to gain the strength to master. To keep within healthy heart rates and muscle use, beginners should slowly work their way up to more intense exercises.
People can customize their use of fitness station equipment to play to their strengths and comfort levels. Many pieces of equipment offer multiple levels of use, from bars and steps set at varying heights to training systems with many choices for the fitness novice or enthusiast.
By letting people exercise at their level, outdoor equipment offers the inspiration people need wherever they are in their fitness journey.
9. They Help People Manage Their Long-Term Health
Outdoor fitness station benefits extend far into the future. Exercising also improves strength and muscle mass, flexibility and balance, which are crucial for helping prevent injuries, especially as people grow older. Staying physically fit strengthens bones, muscles and organs, which reduces the risk of life-threatening falls in older people.
As adults grow older, they must focus on cultivating healthy habits to reach their fitness goals and maintain those results. Readily available exercise equipment lets them look after their health and take control of their futures.
Staying active is a great way for people to care for their bodies for years to come. When people begin a healthy lifestyle, they’ll be more likely to make choices with lasting effects. Communities that give people accessible fitness equipment make a difference for all generations.
Embrace Fitness With Miracle® Recreation
When people decide to make healthier choices, it affects their well-being for the rest of their lives. Regular exercise can help people lose weight, prevent diseases associated with obesity and relieve stress for a happier, healthier life.
Adding outdoor fitness stations to public spaces is an excellent way to promote healthy living in your community. From adventurous Cargo Nets to gym-quality Row Stations, upgrade your park or green space to an inviting personal workout environment with a complete line of fitness equipment from Miracle Recreation!
Miracle Recreation is passionate about helping your community find fun while staying fit and healthy. We want to help you bring the thrill into fitness and overall physical well-being. Contact us today to learn more about implementing outdoor adult fitness stations in your neighborhood, park or playground.