Free Fitness: Get outside and in shape in Rockville's local parks

By Cindy Cotte Griffiths, last updated 5/23/14 07:00am

Are you dreaming of becoming more fit this spring and summer? The abundance of outdoor fitness equipment in the Rockville area gives you one less excuse for not getting started. If you can't afford a gym membership, you can visit the local Fallsgrove and Redland parks for a free workout. Even if you do belong to a gym, sometimes a change in setting is needed to keep you inspired. Incorporating different locations and equipment into your routine can help spice things up. On beautiful days when the sun is beckoning, you might not want to stay inside for a workout, so our local parks are the perfect solution.

Fallsgrove Park has a cluster of body weight equipment. You use your own weight for various arm and leg workouts. Large spinning dials also are available to warm up the shoulders. Be careful on the sit-up bench because it's brutal on your tailbone. Since paved paths circle the equipment, walking or running around the park then stopping in between laps to do a set number of repetitions on the equipment provides a full, satisfying workout. If you've ever wished you could play on the playground again like you did as a kid, this equipment provides you with an slightly more age-appropriate alternative. Similar equipment is also available at the Rockville Senior Center.

Redland Local Park has older equipment scattered around the lovely walking and running path which circles the park. Although some of the signs explaining the use of the equipment are missing, what is available provides a nice workout, from simple stretches to pull-ups, sit-ups, parallel bars, beam jumping, and other traditional exercises. If you know how to work out and need the space to do it then this is a good location - just remember to watch out for splinters from the wood platforms. Again, running or walking between the equipment stations a few times around the park can make your workout a lot more rewarding.

Many people don't get enough sun to avoid a Vitamin D deficiency, so the outdoor aspect has health benefits. If you can go in the morning, a recent study also indicated 20-30 minutes of regular sunshine before noon lowered people's Body Mass Index (BMI).

Take some time to explore and discover the free health benefits at our parks!

Filed under Fitness & Health

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