Outdoor fitness has taken off over the past decade and many people around the world are moving from the confines of indoor gyms to get healthy out in the open. Initiatives like Parkrun have successfully brought communities together by hosting free 5km runs in parks across 14 different countries, while group obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder have become a popular way to get fit and raise money for charity at the same time.
But most notably, outdoor gyms have been popping up in local community gardens, beaches and parks. The brightly coloured fitness equipment can provide year-round fun for the whole family. It’s usually funded by local councils and is designed to help both children and adults get back to basics. From the sunny beaches of Tel Aviv to the leafy parks of China, we’ve picked out 5 of the most impressive outdoor gym facilities where you can work up a sweat, chat with locals and take in the surroundings.
Green Heart at Shaw Park, Hull, UK
Shaw Park’s eco-wellness zone is the first human-energy-powered outdoor gym in the UK. Participants can burn calories on four energy-generating units including a hand bike, a cross trainer and two different varieties of fitness bikes. Gym activity charges up a central battery to light the area overnight and the gym users even have the option to charge their mobile phones.
Gordon Beach Gym in Tel Aviv, Israel
What could be better than watching the waves roll in as you keep fit at the beach? This outdoor gym in Israel includes various weather-resistant fitness pieces that are suitable for all ages. Beach-goers can work out on rowing machines, bicycles, steppers and gliders. Rather than free weights, there are cleverly designed machines that work by using your own body weight for resistance.
Landscape Park Project in Hainan Province, China
Landscape Park in China’s Hainan Province features a really creative range of outdoor gym equipment. Unlike other public fitness areas, there’s a canopy over each weather-resistant machine to protect exercisers both sun and rain. This is just one of 600,000 outdoor gyms that are located around the country.
Grijalva Community Park at Orange, California
Parents can bring their children to join in with a workout at this neighbourhood gym, or keep an eye on them as they play in the park or nearby basketball courts. As well as all the usual gym equipment, it includes machines that can be used by up to four people at a time and unlike a lot of indoor gyms, the site is wheelchair friendly.
Burrows Park in Sydney, Australia
This outdoor gym is situated on one of Sydney’s most iconic coastal walks. Gym users can inject variety into their outdoor routines since there’s both cardio and strengthening equipment. Visitors at the park love to experience the fresh sea air as they work out. With the park overlooking a beach, families can bring dogs along and share a picnic after their workout.