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Adult Playgrounds: The Benefits of Fitness Trails

Finding the time to exercise can be difficult, but when you do have the time, it can be extremely rewarding. This is especially true if you complete your workout in the great outdoors. Fitness trails can make exercising more convenient for adults and serve as a fun, exciting natural playground.

Georges Hébert: Fitness Trail Innovator

Georges Hébert was a French physical fitness instructor in the early 1900s who started the trend of creating outdoor trails designed for a full-body workout. Hébert believed in the "Natural Method," which focused on the natural movements of indigenous people. He wanted his students to develop their bodies harmoniously with nature and become strong human beings, and he advocated for physical training through obstacle courses and other similar equipment.

Station-Based Fitness Trails

If you enjoy the great outdoors, fitness trails are an excellent way to soak up some sunshine and work some exercise into your routine. Fitness trails are paths equipped with obstacles or exercise stations that can be used for a complete workout. Fitness trails aren't limited to parks and forests: They are also found in urban settings, along with adult playgrounds, which are clusters of fitness equipment in a smaller space. Regardless of their location, most fitness trails feature things such as stepping posts, chin-up bars, and other equipment meant to provide physical challenges for those who choose to use the trail.

Benefits of Fitness Trails

When you work out, your body becomes used to a routine. In order to consistently build stamina, it is important to add variety to your workout. For example, if you cycle on a trail, your leg muscles will eventually become used to the same trail. The same can be said for your cardiovascular system. Cycling on a fitness trail, though, allows you to break up your workout and build more muscle by working your body in ways that you may not have been working it before. In turn, you stand to burn more calories and become more physically fit.

In addition to burning more calories, changing up your routine by using a fitness trail can help you to beat boredom. With fitness trails, it is almost impossible to get bored: Not only can you enjoy the scenery and the fresh air, but with the various types of equipment available, you can create a unique workout each time you walk, run, jog, or cycle on the trail. Work your upper body on the days that you cycle, or work your core muscles on the day that you run the trail. No matter what option you choose, you are sure to get a great workout.

Improve Your Flexibility

When our bodies are flexible, we have less of a chance of injuring ourselves. That is why it is important to stretch before and after an intense workout. The outdoor equipment on fitness trails across the country may feature specialized stretching stations that make it easy for hikers, joggers, and cyclists to keep their muscles and joints limber, thus helping to reduce the risk of injury. These stretching stations can also act as training stations that help build muscle or advance cardio abilities. What may look like a large boulder could be a place to stretch your legs or to practice box jumps as you work on your cardio.

Fitness Trails vs. Adult Playgrounds

Using both fitness trails and adult playgrounds have many benefits. For instance, you get to enjoy the great outdoors while doing something great for your body, and you also get essential vitamin D from the sun. You also have the opportunity to take advantage of the equipment available to you to get fit without having to pay for a gym membership. Another pro to using these workout spaces is the chance of running into other like-minded people. Seeing others use the equipment may even spark your imagination, showing you a new way to work your body. Working out with others can motivate you to push yourself harder, and some people enjoy working out more in a social setting. It's easier to enjoy the social aspects of an outdoor workout on an adult playground, since the equipment is closer together. On the other hand, if you enjoy mixing your workout with running, walking, or cycling, or if you don't like to exercise too close to other people, a fitness trail is a better option.