How to get started guide


Before you start:

Here you will find a few practical tips for how to get started using Active Parks. First, place consider the points below about the information we provide regarding outdoor gyms:

• Exercises in these plans are not suitable for everyone so please speak to your GP or healthcare professional about the exercises you plan to undertake, and ensure they are suitable for you

• If you are unsure of any of the exercises, speak to an instructor or health trainer in your local leisure centre

• The workout examples provided are meant only as a guide. Only complete what you feel comfortable to do

• Complete a warm up before beginning any exercise, and a cool down after exercising

• If you feel unwell, dizzy, or in pain at any time then please stop exercising

• Follow any manufacturers' instructions on the outdoor gym equipment as it varies from site to site

• Ensure that your surroundings are safe before starting any activity


Warm up

It is important to prep your mind and body for any activity by completing a warm up prior to starting. A warm up should make you breathe a little heavier and make you feel warmer.

A suggested warm up at an Active Park may be:

  • Any cardiovascular equipment, such as the treadmill, cross trainer, or bike (see pictures). Use the equipment for 3-5 minutes at a steady pace to get your heart rate up
  • Alternatively you could do a brisk walk around the park perimeter for 3-5 minutes to increase your heart and breathing rates

How much to do?

If you are looking to follow a more structured workout routine, here are some recommendations for how to structure your exercise:

Resistance exercise

Complete:

  • 10-15 repetitions on the equipment
  • Take a 30 second break
  • Repeat this 3 times
  • Gradually increase the number of repetitions to make this harder

View our strength and resistance training guidelines, advice and definitions of key terms here.

Cardio exercise

Complete:

  • 30 second at a fast pace
  • Followed by 1 minute slowed down
  • Repeat this 3-4 times
  • Gradually increase the time spent at a fast pace to make this harder

Cool Down

It is equally important to cool down after any activity to reduce the chances of feeling stiff or sore the next day (although this is normal for any new activity!) to prepare your muscles for the next time you are active. A cool down should reduce your breathing rate and cool your body temperature gradually.

A suggested cool down at an Active Park may be:

  • Any cardiovascular equipment, such as the treadmill, cross trainer, or bike (see pictures). Use the equipment for 3-5 minutes slowing down gradually to bring your heart rate down
  • Alternatively, you could start with a brisk walk for 2 minutes around the park perimeter, slowing to a stroll for 2-3 minutes to cool down