The Growing Trend of London Outdoor Gyms for 2020
08 October, 2020
What is an outdoor gym?
Outdoor gym equipment is weatherproof exercise equipment made up of a combination of static and moving parts which offer cardio, balance, strength and flexibility training.
Outdoor gyms are popping up all over West London recently. These sustainable, ‘people-powered’ gyms are designed to unite communities through fitness and health and offer them a place to socialise, build new friendships and support one another. During Covid-19 times outdoor gym facilities are booming as they offer West Londoners fresh air, wide open space and vitamin D from the sun – as well as being completely free to use.
Who can benefit from an outdoor gym?
For families with limited space and no garden, an outdoor gym is totally free to use and often located next to a playground, so parents can work out whilst watching their children play. Children who see their parents’ exercise are more likely to exercise themselves when they grow up. In addition to this, Public Health England says that adults in England should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more, so grabbing short bursts of time on your local outdoor gym can be fitted in around your busy day.
There are so many benefits for senior Londoners who exercise. Firstly, getting outside to your outdoor gym is incredibly sociable. People meet new friends, encourage each other on the equipment and get lots of lovely fresh air. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes and the benefits for mental health are endless.
Fresh Air Fitness, a specialist in UK outdoor gym equipment with many of their gyms based in London, says its ‘mission is to empower seniors to get outside, try their local outdoor gym, meet new people and most importantly have fun’. The manufacturer claims its ‘gyms have a number of pieces of low impact equipment where seniors can enjoy gentle exercise and reduce their feelings of loneliness or isolation’.
Around 69% of Londoners exercise at least once a week, with one in five (18%) saying that they exercise every day, according to new research from a fitness app. Londoners are known for being early adopters when trying something new in the fitness world, and outdoor gyms offer just that opportunity.
As well as the immediate benefits of being outdoors in the fresh air, taking in lots of vitamin D and enjoying the wide-open spaces, many pieces of outdoor gym equipment allow you to set your own resistance level, work against your own body weight or attach additional equipment such as punch bags and battle ropes, making them incredibly versatile.
What are the top benefits of using an outdoor gym in London?
Getting over to your indoor gym often means a tube ride or bus journey, however you will find outdoor gyms dotted throughout parks in London so there is more than likely to be one near you.
Outdoor gyms are uncrowded and you get to enjoy beautiful surroundings without having to queue for equipment.
At an outdoor gym, you can be surrounded by nature and breathe in the fresh air rather than being in an air-conditioned room. There are some surprising benefits of being outside in the fresh air. It helps clear your lungs. Indoor air often has a suboptimal balance of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, especially in enclosed rooms with poor ventilation. It can give you more energy and mental focus. It lowers blood pressure (especially around trees) and heart rate. It helps you heal faster and it can even improve your digestion.
Most importantly of all, an outdoor gym is completely free to use.
You can find the nearest outdoor gym here or by searching on your local council’s website or local green space or recreational area website.