Adapt your workout to a local park or jungle gym to enjoy the benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and new challenges.
Sunshine, warm breezes, and fresh air—all things you won’t experience with gym-bound workouts. Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, cardiovascular fitness, or just social enjoyment, exercising at your local park can provide the optimal environment to help you achieve your goals—and it’ll keep your workouts fresh and fun.
Playgrounds aren’t just for kids
Adult fitness playgrounds are popping up in cities all over the world. These facilities are permanent pieces of equipment (sometimes hydraulic or pneumatic, sometimes free form) located in parks to provide adults a free, accessible way to exercise. They’re often organized in a circuit to guide you through a workout, so you don’t have to be a fitness expert to use them.
Because they use air or water as a resistance source rather than weights, they are safe and usually target each major muscle in the body so you get a complete workout. If an adult fitness playground is not readily available in your city, you can just as easily use a children’s playground or even something as simple as a park bench to get in a great full-body workout.
While exercising outdoors has many benefits, there are a few cautions. Always bring a BPA-free water bottle with you and hydrate every five to 10 minutes. Exposure to heat, sun, and wind can dehydrate you much faster than when exercising indoors. For more tips, see the sidebar.
One of the health benefits of exercising outdoors is an improvement in mental well-being. Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments has been associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy, and positive engagement, together with decreased tension, confusion, anger, and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and stated they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date.
Like anything, exercising with a friend is more fun and motivating, and it can help you stick to your program. Invite your best buddy to go to the park to play.
Perform three circuit rounds of this outdoor park and playground workout the next time it’s sunny and you feel like working up a good sweat.