After 18 months of remote learning, students are making their return to campus this September. Despite many post-secondary institutions mandating vaccines, the rise of COVID-19 variants will still impact many indoor activities, such as accessing the campus fitness centre.

The campus gym has always been a place for students to unwind and manage the stress of being a student. Exercise is proven to help students manage their academics and personal lives. Thus adequate fitness facilities are a necessity for their mental health. COVID-19 has pushed athletic directors and recreation managers to improvise. This has meant moving indoor equipment outside into areas with good ventilation but close enough to the indoor gym so staff can transport the equipment back and forth at the end of the day or during an unexpected rainfall. 

The way campus fitness centres have had to adapt throughout COVID-19, such as implementing capacity rules and 45-minute time slots, will make it difficult to service the entire population who use the gym when students return to campus.
 

Apollo

Outdoor fitness parks are becoming increasingly popular on campuses across North America. They remove the pressure of an indoor gym environment and encourage hesitant gym-goers to move in a less intimidating environment. Besides the physical benefits of outdoor exercise, students benefit from socializing with peers and increasing their vitamin D intake. 

Exercise equipment being placed outside should be built specifically for the outdoors, and there shouldn’t be a difference between the exercise value of indoor and outdoor equipment. The only difference you will notice between indoor gym equipment and our outdoor fitness equipment is the fresh air on your face.  


Here are a few things to consider when building an outdoor fitness park for your college campus:  

space

Space 

More space costs more money. When designing an outdoor gym, keep in mind the cost per square foot. Installing various outdoor single station machines requires more surfacing, concrete and land that you could use for other things.  
 

maintenance

Maintenance

The addition of an outdoor fitness park creates more maintenance and upkeep for staff. Especially in an unsupervised area, staff should feel comfortable that their outdoor fitness equipment is vandal-proof, tamperproof, and suitable for all climates, creating less work and money for them in the future. 
 

safety

Safety

When installing an unsupervised fitness park on your campus, you need to be confident that users can’t injure themselves on the equipment. Therefore, consider equipment that has eliminated all pinch points, entrapment areas, and crush zones and meets ASTM safety standards. 
 

Our Outdoor-Fit Fitness Park Recommendation

We recommend installing 2 Apollo multigyms and 2 Everest stair climbers. This combination provides the perfect full-body workout of cardio and strength and can give 12 simultaneous users access to over 40 different exercises in less than 600 sq ft.