At the minute, I am loving oudoor gyms and outdoor gym sessions available in my community. Outdoor sessions have the potential to get people out doing something in a group with the fitness equipment being suitable for people of all ages. Getting outside into the fresh air with family, friends, colleagues and even strangers can be great fun and a wonderful opportunity to meet people. Another bonus is fresh air is free and positive for Mental Health and that can only be a positive thing in a stressful age!
The park where the equipment is found is a twenty minute push from my house and a thirty minute push back uphill. While I’m in the park if I jump on afew pieces of equipment then it all adds up. Obviously, it is important that people read the instructions on exercise equipment in outdoor gyms before using them to ensure they are using it correctly and to minimise the chance of injury.
As a Quad transferring on to equipment can be a challenge so I found it’s good to bring a friend for the first time or two until you figure out what you can do or not! It’s good to train in pairs also to motivate one another. I’m not saying you will be the next Arnold schwarzenegger but after an injury daily light rehabilittion becomes a must to maintain muscular development and work on gaining more.
I understand that outdoor gyms have a limited “one-size-fits-all” approach with unadjustable seats and heights but I feel they are a good starting point. I was a regular gym bunny before my injury but when I became a full time wheelchair user my confidence was definitely affected and the thoughts of going into an enclosed gym environment became very stressful to me. Maybe outdoor gyms sessions will prompt others like myself to explore different fitness options.
Even to try a different piece of equipment whenever you go by and hopefully even improve a little each time. I am personally in favour of anything that gets people moving and expand on your fitness regime bit by bit and as you grow in confidence.
Three reasons I think oitdoor gyms are benefical to people with disabilities:
Not everyone can afford a gym membership, so the outdoor gyms provide some options to people living with a disability on low incomes.
They are suitable for people of all age groups and abilities whom wish to achieve a rehabilitation and muscular workout on a daily basis.
They may prompt others like myself to explore different fitness options available and progress with time/confidence!
EXERCISES AND EXERCISE MACHINES SHOWN BELOW FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS:
I have a positive view on outdoor gyms initiatives as much needs to be done to encourage people to get active. These are the things that help our health service over a number of years. The fitter and healthier we are, the less reliant we are going to be on health services in years to come.