Bodybuilding Moves to the Playground

Haya El Nasser reports on the latest trend in park design: free public 'fitness parks' that feature exercise equipment "built to withstand the rigor of weather vandalism."

Have you ever stumbled across one of the fitness trails that popped up across America in the 1960s and 70s? Well it seems as though that concept has gotten a 21st century revamp with the growth in "Fitness Zones" being led by the Trust for Public Land. Seen as "the latest weapon in fighting the nation's obesity epidemic," notes El Nasser, "[c]lusters of traditional fitness equipment from elliptical machines to leg press and sit-up benches are being installed in city parks, often in poorer neighborhoods that may not have access to healthful options."

The Trust has been instrumental in promoting the zones under a three-year-old program by helping cities raise private funds and donating their own money for their contruction. Florida and California are home to dozens of the outdoor gyms, but they're catching on in other areas with 'fitness deserts.'"

"'They tend to lend themselves to warmer-weather cities, but they're also being installed in cold-weather cities' such as Newark, Denver and Minneapolis," says Adrian Benepe, senior vice president and director of city park development for the Trust.

Full Story: 'Fitness parks' catch on in cities

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