outdoor gym equipment

The pandemic has had a profound effect on the lives of many people. It has made us look at the way in which we do a number of things, and in many cases made us consider ways in which we can change some of those things for the better.

With gyms and indoor spaces closed for much of the last 12 months, people have had to find alternative ways of exercising. At the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020, the government gave people the lifeline of being able to go out to exercise each day. With so many people on furlough or stuck at home with children, in combination with the unseasonably warm weather that we had, many people did just that. Whether it was by utilising outdoor fitness equipment, or walking and cycling locally, many people found a really benefit to getting outdoors.

outdoor fitness equipment for parks

Fresh air

There is something about exercising in the fresh air that simply can’t be replicated in an indoor setting. It has so many health benefits and is also great for mental health; something which has certainly been an issue during the pandemic. Adults have been dusting off their bikes and going for long rides; they have been purchasing bike trailers or tag alongs so that their children can join them, often with the promise that the ride will end at the park – now that they are open. This is of

course great motivation for children and the end result in many cases is that parents are spending more time outside with their children and they are exercising together.

bespoke monkey bars

It isn’t just those people with children who have changed the way in which they exercise during the pandemic. Those individuals who visited a gym at least a couple of times a week, and those who have found themselves with little to do due to furlough have been finding ways to fill the gaps, such as utilising outdoor fitness equipment or switching on their favourite YouTube workout session. Walking has also become a lot more popular as well and people have been exploring their local areas and discovering places they never even knew existed. Green spaces and national parks seem to be more popular than ever before.

What’s next?

Even when the gyms do open up people may not initially feel comfortable going to them. They may also decide that the money that they were spending on membership and gym wear can be put to better use elsewhere, such as a custom-built outdoor fitness equipment for their own garden or visiting the free to use outdoor fitness areas in local parks. The thought of claustrophobic indoor gyms with heavy breathing, sweaty bodies somehow doesn’t feel too appealing any more. They have found that they can in fact mix exercise and spending time with their children, all whilst enjoying fresh air in their local area.

Outdoor fitness equipment for all!

Of course, there are those people who will be outside their gym waiting for them to open the doors as soon as the announcement is made – but for many the pandemic is likely to have made a significant different to how they exercise. So, if you’re considering whether to purchase your own outdoor fitness equipment to help you reap the benefits of outdoor exercise at home, we’d be happy to help plan a set for you.

outdoor fitness rig

bespoke fitness equipment for gardens

When it comes to making New Year promises to ourselves most of us will resolve to put exercise at the top of the list. The urge to improve general fitness always follows on from the festive season splurge and for good reason but before you rush to sign up for that expensive gym membership why not look at a healthy alternative.

People are increasingly looking for a more sustainable way to get fitter and one which doesn’t involve queuing behind a bunch of sweaty people in various stages of undress to use an equally sweaty piece of gym equipment. There is an alternative and the new kid on the block is natural outdoor gym equipment.

What Is It?

Outdoor gym equipment is increasingly seen in parks, schools and other recreation areas and even in some work areas as the huge benefits of exercising outdoors becomes ever more apparent. The best wooden outdoor gym equipment is constructed from sustainable, durable and hygienic untreated hardwood timber and stainless steel and can be made up to your personal specifications. When placed in an outdoor setting it is readily available for use at all times. Many councils and schools across the UK are beginning to see the benefits that installing wooden playground equipment can bring to the health and wellbeing of our children – and these benefits exist for adults too.

What are the benefits of outdoor fitness?

When the weather outside is less than delightful you may question the wisdom of leaving the comfort of the fireside to do some exercise however studies show that outdoor fitness in the winter has multiple beneficial effects.

  • A natural antidepressant. If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) then the best thing you can do is get outside into the winter sunshine. Sunshine increases the production of the feel-good hormone serotonin.
  • When you get together with friends or a group to exercise outdoors you learn from each other the best way to use the equipment and you can gain encouragement from them to stick to your new exercise routine. Best of all, it’s like being a kid again; the fun aspect of exercising on outdoor gym equipment boosts mental health and wellbeing.
  • The benefits of fresh air cannot be underestimated; improvement to blood pressure and heart rate, increased lung capacity and increased energy all contribute towards better overall health.

Exercising outdoors in the winter sunshine and fresh air then afterwards back indoors for a well-earned rest and warm drink – what could be nicer? And if the exercise experience is nice, it’s far more likely you’ll repeat it, so you could actually be right on track for a new, improved and fitter you!

custom made fitness equipment
monkey bars for fitness

fitness rig monkey bars

It isn’t a secret that regular exercise is an excellent way to improve vitality, as well as promote both physical and mental health, but did you know that exercising outside can actually increase these benefits? According to many fitness experts, it can. In fact, many people are now referring to exercising in the garden as “green exercise” and it is believed to have numerous health enhancing effects on the body. But those aren’t the only benefits to exercising in the to keep physically fit. Exercising in the garden can also be a convenient, and cost effective, alternative to exercising at the gym, as well as a great way to encourage the entire family to participate in physical fitness. And getting a garden gym made from natural materials can certainly make a stylish addition to your garden.

Privacy

While going to the gym can be great in terms of the selection of outdoor fitness equipment to choose from, the total lack of privacy can often be uncomfortable. Exercising in the privacy of your own garden on the other hand allows for a private and more importantly, stress-free atmosphere that will encourage the whole family to commit to a regular fitness routine. Depending on the outdoor gym equipment you’d like installed, you could even make circuit training a family activity where you all keep each other motivated.

A More Cost-effective Way To Stay Fit

Gym memberships can cost hundreds of pounds a year to maintain. And while you can’t put a price on good health, having a gym membership isn’t your only option for staying physically fit – and it isn’t the most cost-effective option either. Especially when you compare the cost of a gym membership per annum to the cost of purchasing your own outdoor gym equipment that will last you for years to come. Creating your own outdoor gym in the privacy of your garden can not only offer a convenient and private workout setting, it can save you tons of money in the long run. And, if you choose custom built outdoor gym equipment tailored to your fitness plan, you’re not wasting money on equipment that you’ll never use – let’s face it, no matter how well stocked a gym is with all kinds of different equipment, we only really use a few pieces.monkey-bars-01

A Faster and More Convenient Way To Keep in Shape

One of the most common reasons that people give for not being able to keep to a consistent exercise routine is lack of time. Going to the gym to exercise often means having to navigate traffic, then search for a parking spot, followed by manoeuvring through a crowded locker room – all this before your workout has even begun!  And unless you have joined a gym that is open 24 hours a day, your exercise is limited to the times that the gym is open. When you have outdoor fitness equipment in your garden, you can enjoy the convenience of working out in the comfort of your own property whenever you choose. This will also allow your entire family to exercise together, or around their own individual schedules, making it easier than ever to commit to a healthy, and physically active, lifestyle.

Remember, our outdoor fitness equipment can also be used for play. Mixed use equipment really makes a the most of the space and budget and can easily by tailored to your needs. Take a look at a previous blog post about how garden playground equipment such as monkey bars and swings can be used as part of you fitness routine.

Here’s a great video showing various fitness techniques that can be performed on garden fitness equipment.

outdoor gym equipment

When it comes to keeping fit there really is no better place to be than the great outdoors, breathing in all that healthy natural fresh air whilst getting some exercise.

wooden-outdoor-gym-and-fitness-equipment

Unfortunately, so much of the outdoor fitness equipment you will come across has been designed purely with functionality in mind, and it can be something of an eyesore set against the natural backdrop of a stunning park or garden. In a society that is looking to reduce its use of plastic it is fortunate therefore that there are other alternatives to equipment that is made from less environmentally friendly materials and from bold colours, that whilst appealing to younger people, really do not fit into their surroundings.

Return to nature with outdoor fitness equipment

Wood is a fantastic, and of course natural, material that is perfectly suited to the building of equipment for both indoor and outdoor use. It makes a perfect base for any natural outdoor fitness equipment that can be incorporated into any natural environment where it will enhance rather than detract from the natural beauty. It is also a much more environmentally friendly material that does not harm the environment around it.

There are more and more innovations in outdoor fitness equipment that has been designed specifically with the goal of fitting into the natural environment. This equipment stands out for all the right reasons rather than the wrong ones. In addition to a variety of different types of timber, this type of outdoor fitness equipment is often made using rope and steel components to provide equipment that is very aesthetically pleasing in any environment. In addition to naturally durable timbers which can be used to form the main parts of the equipment you might also expect to see tree trunk “barrels” or thick slices being used as steps or even seats.

Monkey bars for fitness and play

Think around the problem

Sometimes there is no getting away from the need to use certain materials for outdoor fitness equipment that is of a less environmentally friendly nature. However it is still possible to create something that blends with the environment in a more natural way. Outdoor trampolines have become increasingly popular in recent years, but they are large and really not that pretty to look at. Sinking a trampoline into the ground, however, is a great way to hide the necessary, framework from sight. The trampoline skin will lie level with the ground making is less obvious and much more environmentally and user friendly.

By using a little clever thinking there are plenty of ways in which you can create an outdoor fitness environment that blends into its surroundings.

bespoke fitness equipment for gardens

How wooden playground equipment could be incorporated into the outdoor workout?

Recently there has been a huge increase in the amount of outdoor playground equipment designed for exercise use. Councils, employers, schools, colleges, hotels and of course gyms, have been installing dedicated outdoor gym equipment to encourage more of the population to reap some of the benefits of exercising in the open.

bespoke fitness equipment

 

Exercising outdoors is proven to be extremely beneficial – both physically and mentally – but if your local park hasn’t got around to installing body weight rowing machines and cross-trainers you need not miss out. All you need is some widely available wooden playground equipment and a bit of determination!

custom made fitness equipment

 

Before you start

First things first: you might be getting in touch with your inner kid by exercising but some parents can be funny about adults using outdoor playground equipment – especially if you’re not at the park with your kids – so it’s best to keep your sessions to early morning and late evening. And warm up by gently running to the playground, or taking in a couple of laps of the park.

Swings

Squatting on two legs is hard. Squatting on one leg is much, much harder. Going from two legs to one requires practice and a swing is the ideal piece of equipment to help. Hold the seat for balance as you go down into the lowest squat you can manage, then stretch one leg out, parallel to the floor. Build reps slowly if you’re not used to it.

Another exercise you can use a swing seat for is the Ab-rollout. Stand over the swing with your hands on the seat, then push it away from you, without moving your feet, and return to the start position.

Ladders

Wooden playground equipment often has bars or ladders a couple of feet off the ground. These lend themselves well to Inverted Rowing (Slide under, grab the bar and lift yourself up and down). Depending on the design of the outdoor playground equipment you may also be able to use them for pull-ups and dips too.

Monkey Bars

Swinging hand from hand is great for building upper body strength. You can also use this piece of outdoor playground equipment for chin-ups and similar exercises.

Benches

All playgrounds have somewhere for parents to sit – but you can use the benches for bench jumps, push-ups, Bulgarian split squats, dips and many other similar exercises where a small amount of elevation is required.

So, next time the kids want to visit the park, or you’re passing an empty playground, there’s really no reason not to work out!

wooden monkey bars photo

Monkey bars aren’t just great playground equipment, they are a fun and great way to improve your posture and strength too.

Many of us spend our time in front of a computer and are unable to maintain focus and posture. Monkey bars provide a great exercise that can help maintain a postural strength. This in turn, will reduce fatigue at work.

Areas of the body that monkey bars exercise are as follows:-

Latissimus Dorsi musclesmonkey bars for fitness

Or ‘Lats’ stabilise the movement as you pull upwards from bar to bar. Using these muscles is key in order to lift yourself up as you move forward along the monkey bar and gain momentum.

Deltoids or Shoulder Muscles

Monkey bars provide a unique exercise for your shoulders.  They extend whilst contracting in order to stabilise the movement.

Biceps

As with the Latissimus Dorsi muscles, they are both an agonist in the movement along the monkey bars and a muscle responsible for the stability of your body. As you keep you body up the agonist action is needed during each swing forward.

Abdominal muscles and Obliques

As you move forward your abdominal muscles are used to provide stability as your body moves left to right.

Monkey bars can also be used as Chin-Up bars. Yet another great exercise that works you upper body using your own body weight.

Head over to our wooden playground equipment page and take a look at some of the options. Please remember that we can build robust bespoke monkey bars to your exact requirements.

monkey bar metal handles photoGrip Strength

Monkey bars are a great bit of fitness equipment to work on your grip strength. Extension of you finger forward and rolling back as you reach for the next bar gives you a full hand workout that you can really feel. Good grip strength is very important in your day to day life and obviously improves your ability to use other upper body fitness equipment

 

For a wide selection of different monkey bars for all abilities check this link to our online store.

 

natural fitness equipment

Premium Outdoor Fitness Equipment For Schools, Parks & Gardens

Outdoor Fitness Equipment by PlayEquip

The gym and fitness industry are currently growing an amazing rate as education on the importance of exercise has on person physical and mental health. The everyday pressures of work and the physical effect that sitting at a desk all day need to be counteracted by introducing fitness into our daily routines.

Despite of this, current studies show that only one in seven of us use the gym on a regular basis. The importance of a healthy body and mind are well documented but obesity levels are up and the knock on effect of this is proving to be extremely expensive for the health service. So what can we do to help reverse this trend?

Many of us have great intensions of becoming the one in seven, but often getting in the habit and continuing what we set out to achieve is sometimes a little unrealistic. The cost of joining a gym can play a factor in this. Signing up to a £30 a month contract can get very expensive especially if you’re locked into it. We believe that access to fitness equipment should be freely available to everyone.

Natural outdoor fitness equipment

Our wooden outdoor fitness and gym equipment can be installed and ready for use by anyone anywhere. Once installed public parks this equipment is accessible to everyone for free. The range of equipment is designed to provide an all around workout for the whole body. As the equipment utilises the users body weight, its usable for everyone no matter what their weight and size.

The wooden fitness equipment has no moving parts and is made from the most durable materials such as large oak and robinia timbers and stainless steel. Once installed the equipment requires very little maintenance which extremely beneficial for councils with tight budgets.

monkey bars for fitness

Often the loud colours of the metal equipment doesn’t suit its tranquil surroundings. Our timber fitness equipment fits perfectly into any green space and becomes an asset rather than an eyesore. The fitness equipment is then freely available all year round outdoors where the air where the air is clean.

Outdoor exercise for all

We believe that the investment in outdoor fitness equipment such as ours will pay dividends for many years to come. It provides great opportunity and freedom to local communities to make positive steps towards living healthier and more productive lives.

  • We provide complete packages of all equipment, or individual individual items such as outdoor pull-up bars, dip bars and sit-up benches. We also provide our fitness equipment to private gyms and for back gardens.

Check out our products here

Get in touch and see what we can do for you.

Solid oak and stainless steel construction

metal slides for kids photo

Active play refers to any activity or game played by children that requires the use of physical movements, giving children the opportunity to develop physically, while also offering some mental development benefits. While active play has always played a large role in the development of young children, it is particularly important to make time for it as children become increasingly sedentary. Not only is childhood obesity becoming a growing concern but by spending time indoors, children can be deprived of the vital benefits offered by active play.

Physical Benefits

The most obvious benefit of active play is that it supports the development of both fine and gross motor skills. Through various active games and the use of playground equipment children not only strengthen their muscles but also improve their balance, coordination and flexibility.

Additionally, studies have proven that children who engage in physical play and are active from a young age are likely to maintain those levels of physical activity later in life, improving their levels of fitness long after they have grown out of active play.

Mental Benefits

Although it is talked about less than the physical benefits of active play, children can also learn valuable social skills and improve their confidence as their physical abilities improve.

As school playgrounds and public areas are the most common areas for children to engage in active play time, they become places where they hone their social skills as they share the playground equipment with their peers and learn how to play together and take turns.

Active play can also improve concentration and learning, which in turn can boost productivity and academic success. Like physical activity in adults, getting active helps children with their emotional and mental wellbeing, relieving stress and releasing mood-boosting endorphins.

How to Encourage Active Play

The simplest way of encouraging physical play is by making it fun!

Children are naturally curious, always wanting to explore new places and learn new things so it’s important to present active play as a reward, rather than a punishment. Often children are pushed into active play as a break from screen time, which can make them feel like they are being punished and paint active play in a negative light.

Some fun active play ideas include nature treasure hunts, using a variety of different playground equipment, running games, and obstacle courses. You can also engage children in indoor active play activities, perfect for those rainy days or when it’s too cold to spend extended time outdoors. Some fun active play games that can be played indoors includes musical chairs, follow the leader, hide and seek, and even an indoor obstacle course if you have enough space.