“We believe that health and fitness is a necessity – and not the luxury. Green Outdoor Gyms is the leading brand in outdoor health and fitness products, services and lifestyle experiences, empowering all people of South Africa.” – Tim Hogins, CEO, GOG
In a country where lifestyle diseases are a growing concern, access to a park with exercise equipment should be an integral part of the nation’s healthcare solution.
Green Outdoor Gyms were first introduced to South Africa in 2008 with the intention of encouraging exercise and a healthier lifestyle in communities where people generally do not have access to commercial gyms or personal trainers. The first gym was installed at the Petrus Molefe Park in Soweto, and since then more than 100 parks have been installed in Gauteng alone.
Tim Hogins, Managing Director of Green Outdoor Gyms, says not only are communities making use of the equipment, but the fact that the gyms are eco-friendly means they also don’t cost anything to run.
“The gym equipment uses no electricity, which means that the energy that would have been used to operate treadmills and bikes can now be channelled where there is a greater need,” says Hogins.
Where it all started
Currently, there have more than 100 eco-gyms across the country, and a few in other parts of Africa. The intention, says Hogins, is to have one in every township in the country.
“My personal aim is to have at least 2 000 eco-gyms set up – all freely accessible to members of the public.”
Variety is key
Based on individuals health and fitness needs, Green Outdoor Gyms offer a range of eight products varieties targeting fitness levels, physical abilities and age-appropriate exercise solutions.
The equipment is relatively easy to use and the design and layout of the routine can be adjusted depending on the space available. Each piece of equipment also has graphic step-by-step instructions.
Property developers and city officials are fast catching on to how this form of outdoor exercise, not only makes for a healthier community but also a more social community – the environment builds comradeship between community members who all battle the bulge together.
GREEN OUTDOOR GYMS;
- Make exercise fun, the addition of nature and fresh air helps make exercising fun and therefore more effective.
- Are eco-friendly and low maintenance, made from hard wearing metal it has a long shelf life with a minimum carbon footprint.
- Promote friendships through a shared interest in fitness, participates socialize while exercising, strengthening community and interpersonal relationships.
- Are available to everyone by offering different solutions for fitness levels, participates can maintain regular physical activity, increasing the likelihood of creating positive change in overall fitness and health.
- Attract new users to outdoor environments by having an accessible and convenient system more families can participate in physical activity outdoors.
- Provide training opportunities ideal for people with physically demanding jobs to augment their training.