How Outdoor Fitness Stations Help Promote Sustainability
A gym in your community is great for working out with peers and meeting people with similar interests. It can be empowering to be surrounded by people with goals that align. However, these community fitness centers could become more eco-friendly. Here is how outdoor fitness stations help promote sustainability.
Gyms and the Environment
Many gyms have taken steps to try and reduce the impact they have on the environment. Most of the time, the suggestions and actions they take don’t fully solve the problem.
A few of the things they do is change their gym to a paperless setting or replace towels in the bathroom and outfit the gym with reusable rags and dryers. The problem is there are electric dryers that will run multiple times daily.
Some have even gone so far as to include sustainable equipment like in-build generators, which would turn off when not in use, but these still use lots of electricity. The only way to truly make gyms eco-friendly is by taking them outdoors.
Benefits of Outdoor Exercise
Many people debate whether exercising outdoors is better than a gym workout. It never hurts to use the resources around you to get exercise. Whether a five-minute walk or a five-mile jog, going outside and getting sunlight while moving your body will make you feel good.
Most arguments favor outdoor workouts since they enhance mental benefits like reducing depression and anxiety while increasing the enjoyment of exercise. Some other benefits of excising outdoors are:
- Boosting positive mood.
- Improving accountability to exercise.
- Connecting with nature.
- Enhancing social well-being.
Why Outdoor Fitness Stations are “Green”
Outdoor fitness stations use equipment similar to an indoor gym. You get social benefits in a shared space with maximum sustainability since it’s outdoors. There are many reasons for communities to add these areas since they encourage a free and “green” place to get physical activity.
After some installation and construction of the outdoor equipment, things are ready to go. The gym is the environment around it. Traditional gyms take longer to get up and running since there is a lot of electricity going into them.
Electric is expensive and runs everything in an indoor gym, from lights to TVs to refrigerators and more. Additional waste can come from items like plastic water bottles or running water fountains — not to mention the cost of repairs when things go wrong.
Compare these costs to what could’ve been saved when choosing an outdoor gym instead. The sun is your light and the amount of money saved can be used towards other eco-friendly project ideas in the community.
A brand new gym with lots of high-tech equipment may spark excitement and do well financially, but it says very little about the care for the environment. An outdoor fitness station will encourage the community to take pride in a green space.
It can encourage people to use the fitness station since it may be within walking distance for some community members. Local governments can also add canopies so people can use the equipment even in rainy or hot weather.
Fresh air comes naturally in an outdoor gym, while indoor facilities spend lots of money and energy getting proper ventilation. Poor ventilation can lead to dangerous conditions with potential carbon monoxide and organic compounds in the air from cleaning products or carpets.
The cleaning level required in an indoor gym is high since there’s a lot of lingering sweat, which can lead to a lot of product waste. An outdoor gym eliminates that since the Earth naturally cleans the space. If you are worried about cleanliness, you can bring a towel to wipe equipment down. You can also wear light gloves while working out.
Improving Sustainability With Outdoor Fitness Stations
Indoor gyms are pricey and don’t do much to consider the environment. Outdoor gyms are a great option for community members who care about the sustainability of facilities or enjoy a free workout session outdoors.
Mia Barnes is a professional freelance writer with over 3 years of experience covering topics related to eco-friendly wellness and sustainable living. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine, an online healthy living publication.