Get out and get fit! Enjoy Yuma parks
A walk in the park just might change your life. Yuma has over 30 beautiful parks located all throughout the city. With the chilly days of winter behind us, let's get out and get fit!
Some people swear by the treadmill but while you might think it comes down to personal preference, outdoor exercise might have even more health benefits than a trip to the gym. Taking your workout outside and into the natural environment could be exactly what most of us need. Researchers have found that nature improves physical health, lifts your mood, promotes relaxation, improves concentration, hastens healing, and facilitates social connectedness.
The American Heart Association says, “Several studies have shown that getting outside and becoming active at a park can provide the same benefits as a structured exercise program and individuals can actually get as much benefit from daily activities as they can by going to a gym, and maybe more.” Barry A. Franklin, national spokesman for the American Heart Association's “Choose to Move” program says, “In addition, an active lifestyle offers fitness advantages you won't find in a gym, no matter how many hours you spend there.”
The whole gym environment, especially if it's machine-based, focuses on very fixed, linear-path movements, but the body doesn't really work that way in real life. Motions used in walking and power walking, are natural movements which enhance other natural movements by performing these two basic exercises. People flex their ankles more when they run/walk outside and at least occasionally, go downhill. Treadmill runners expend less energy because indoor exercisers face no wind resistance or changes in terrain.
Working out in the park is incredibly fun! Whether you're by yourself, with a friend, or in a group, getting outside and working out can be the motivation and inspiration you need to improve your daily living.
Thousands of people just like you are on the “get out and get fit craze.” This new fitness craze is inspired by the Youtube video, “101 things to do on a park bench.” This video illustrates flexibility, lower and upper body strengthening exercises that are performed with the utilization of only a park bench. This program will create and fine tune your body, through stretching and isometric exercises.
Think about it, you are working out at a local park: the green grass, the tall trees, flowers in bloom, birds singing, a breeze is blowing, and the sun is shinning. What an ideal place to relax and become one within yourself as you are briskly walking along the trail at West Wetlands or Smucker Park. No crowded gym. No noisy weightlifters. No waiting for exercise equipment; just you, fresh air, and nature working together to make a better you.
City of Yuma parks are incredible places to visit and enjoy. City parks include: Smucker, West Wetlands, Kennedy, Winsor Rotary, Sunrise, Friendship, Caballero, Carver, Gateway, or any of the over 30 public and neighborhood parks which are all free to the public and ready for you to get out and get fit! For more information on city of Yuma parks and facilities, go to www.Yumaaz.gov. Follow us on Facebook, or call us at 373-5243.
Oscar Chavez is the recreation program supervisor for Yuma Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at Oscar.Chavez@yumaaz.gov.