outdoor fitness rig photo 2

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes to how society works, lives and plays as successive lockdowns placed restrictions on how we socialised; how many people we were allowed to see and how far we could travel.

One of the biggest challenges especially for children and young adults came with the closure of schools, colleges, nurseries and outdoor playgrounds with, in some instances local authorities even chaining up and restricting access to playground equipment and outdoor fitness equipment too.

Playground slide

Children’s Mental and Physical Health Affected

Studies are underway to gauge the effect of the pandemic on children who have been unable to play outdoors with friends as they normally would, with an emphasis on how children and young people have had to adapt and learn newer methods of play.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has had an enormous effect on the mental health of children and adults alike particularly in households with no outside space and in homes where children were suddenly forced to spend more time with parents who were perhaps working from home or were furloughed. Research has shown that childhood anxiety has increased due to enforced change in circumstances, not being able to see friends or go to school and through having to deal with parents’ worries as well.

We are seeing evidence of the increasing toll of mental and physical health conditions needing to be treated as a result of the lack of exercise, for children and adults. The closure of sports facilities has shown to be a major factor in increased anxiety and depression and this is largely attributed to the disruption in social cohesion amongst sports teams as well as amongst school groups. The closure of gyms, parks and outdoor play equipment areas has meant the reduction in physical activity was matched by an increase in virtual games and social media usage. In other words; the perfect storm for weight gain, loss of fitness and disrupted sleep patterns.

How Outdoor Exercise and Play Benefits Children

outdoor trampolineChildren learn how to socialise and how to correctly conduct relationships when they interact with their friends and peers and the worry is that many very young children are unable to form relationships with friends or make new friendships.

Indoor and online exercise programmes have played a part in raising morale during the pandemic but cannot replace the vital benefits that social interaction brings through play and exercise outdoors in the fresh air. As life starts to get back to normal there could be a renewed appreciation for our outdoor spaces and the outdoor play equipment we once took for granted.

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

Garden Gym Equipment

Living through the pandemic has given us a whole new perspective on spending time outdoors, whether this has been to combat isolation from being home alone and being able to meet with friends outdoors, or being unable to be in the gym due to social distancing measures they must have in place.

But what better way is there for you to spend your leisure and exercise time than benefitting from the great outdoors?  Being outdoors is great for our mental health as well as offering fresh air and the chance for physical exercise and many of us might want to take this renewed love for being outside and use it to improve our health in the new year.

If this is you, but you’re not sure how to begin, or how to keep motivated, why not take a look at the tips below.

Start as you mean to go on

Firstly, decide what your goals are – are you looking to run a marathon, lift heavier, get fitter, or lose some excess weight. Whatever your main goal is, break it down into smaller ones; each goal you reach will motivate you to crack on with the next.

Next, work out where you’ll work out. With the restrictions regarding the pandemic meaning gym access may be a struggle for a while, why not consider building your own? Remember, exercise need not be a chore and with the great range of outdoor gym equipment available, there most certainly isn’t any reason to become bored or not have fun when working out.

An outdoor workout on wooden gym equipment can offer a fun workout whether you are alone or challenging a friend.  Set yourself realistic targets and celebrate your achievements too; the more you do, the more you will manage, want and be able to do.

Stick at it

Like all exercise programs, once the initial honeymoon period is over, you might start to lose motivation, but consistency is key to a healthy lifestyle. If you’re losing the love of a good workout, why not:

Do it with a friend or partner, a little competitive spirit and someone to spur you on when you are having a weak moment can make it easier to carry on.

Do it at a time you can stick with, and choose a time that you know you are free. Turn it into a habit.

Do what you love, we all loved a playground as a child. So why not recreate your childhood memories with the exciting range of wooden playground equipment now available for adults.

Of course, there will be moments when you might not really feel like fitting in a workout, but with your own outdoor gym equipment visible from your window, you might find it easier to get out there than the effort it might take to visit the gym, which could make you more consistent.

If you’re looking to reap the benefits of outdoor exercise and have your own outdoor gym equipment to help you reach your goals, why not get in touch – we’d be happy to create a bespoke solution for any outdoor space you have!