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Take It Outside

Reprinted from SNS January 2018

A one-of-a-kind line of fitness equipment is helping people get out of the gym and into a local park for a great workout

Instead of going to an accessible gym for a workout, U.S. Paralympian Jennifer French just heads outdoors to Azalea Park near her home in  St. Petersburg, Fla.  The park was the first in the country to debut a unique line of accessible, outdoor fitness equipment that not only helps French tone up her muscles, but it also lets her exercise alongside her able-bodied friends. 

The Signature Accessible line of equipment from Greenfields Outdoor Fitness is created for outdoor exercise and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilites Act (ADA). The line has revolutionized the ability for people with disabilities to get a free outside workout or, as French calls it, a “funout.”

“The nice things about the outdoor gyms is that it is inclusive, so a wheelchair user can exercise alongside an able-bodied person,” says French, who sustained a C6/7 spinal-cord injury in a 1998 snowboarding accident. “Exercising with other people really helps to keep you motivated to keep coming back. Workout sounds like work. Think of it as a ‘funout.’ Exercise needs to be fun, otherwise it is too easy to lose interest. If you have never exercised before, it might be good to check with your physician or physical therapist. Start the routine slowly and build yourself up. Set yourself a goal and a plan to slowly increase your routine.”


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