A Planner's look at Public Exercise and Fitness Infrastructure
Exercise is not the sole purview of private gyms.
Los Angeles has a public fitness infrastructure, some of it dedicated to fitness and exercise, and some of it that can be used for that purpose regardless of its primary intended use. Clement Lau, a Los Angeles County parks and recreation planner, goes on to review and summarize Los Angeles' public resources for exercise and fitness. Among other things, these resources include trails, parks with fitness zones, and city streets themselves,
“As a downtown resident, I often see individuals and groups power walking or running on city streets, sidewalks, and stairs for exercise. For example, the Downtown Running Group meets every week to run along different routes in and around downtown. The group sets the length and pace of the routes to accommodate people of all running levels.”
Lau goes on to describe how the makeup of a particular neighborhood, its level of safety, often prompts some residents to exercise at home and how YMCA branches provide an alternative to expensive gym memberships.