Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Beyond the obvious health aspects, how does Greenfields Outdoor Fitness enhance communities? In our experience, adding an outdoor gym does much more than boost community health outcomes. We've seen areas overrun by negative elements transform into social, family-friendly gathering spaces, where users enjoy the company of family and friends and make new acquaintances. However, to most effectively capitalize on an outdoor gym to decrease negative elements in an area and enhance social capital in a community, certain design practices must be followed. When designing an outdoor fitness area, what factors should be considered to maximize the value and benefits to the community? At Greenfields, our mission is to design and build uniquely inviting environments that motivate people to exercise and eliminate excuses. Each project is unique, and several factors must be taken into account to design the best gym possible. For the equipment to enjoy the greatest awareness and usage, we must understand the end users' needs, accounting for their ages and fitness levels. Gyms primarily intended for seniors should utilize units for stretching, low-impact strengthening, and cardio, as well as exercises to increase range of motion and help them regain some of their lost agility. For gyms intended to serve a wide range of demographics, Greenfields' Professional Series is ideal, as it incorporates adjustable resistance. In addition, it's recommended to provide several units providing exercises for those in wheelchairs. The equipment should be located in a highly visible area with existing foot traffic that allows for easy access, particularly for wheelchair users. Cluster-style layouts are the most successful and frequently used type of configuration. These types of layouts enhance the social aspect of the gym and allow users to rotate among different stations/exercises. For trail installations, clusters should be located at trailheads, as this will allow users with mobility challenges to exercise on the equipment even if they have difficulty navigating the trail. How has Greenfields brought new de- velopments in the fitness industry to outdoor spaces? 2018 has marked a great expansion in Greenfields' offering of wheelchair accessible as well as functional fitness apparatuses. The Signature Accessible line now includes units with a revolutionary adjustable-resistance feature - a huge advancement in the outdoor fitness offerings available to those with disabilities. Greenfields' new Functional Fitness Rig offers a wide variety of challenging exercises; another unique unit, the X-Rig, offers six built-in sets of suspension trainers, plus an extra bar for users to attach their own bands. With these additions, Greenfields has taken the lead in bringing cutting-edge fitness trends to the outdoor environment. How has outdoor fitness equipment evolved to meet the needs of modern users? Previously, outdoor fitness equipment offered simple exercise stations for calisthenics along trails. Today's sad reality is that most Americans are unable to perform the pull-ups, dips, and other exercises offered by these stations. Recently, outdoor fitness equipment offerings have progressed to better serve those at a wide range of fitness levels; Greenfields' units incorporate body- weight resistance and innovations such as adjustable-resistance mechanisms to ensure that virtually every user - seniors simply desiring light activity, fitness enthusiasts capable of advanced exercises, individuals in wheelchairs, and everyone in between – can exercise together. The appeal of Greenfields' gyms to diverse demographics makes them the number-one amenity for the community, a truly inclusive space for both promoting wellness and enhancing social capital. Q & A w i t h t h e e x p e r t s a conversation with Featuring Sam Mendelsohn, Greenfields' President and CEO GREENFIELDS OUTDOOR FITNESS, INC. 48 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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