Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

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Outdoor Gyms – the free, local way to build a bit of activity into your day!

Picture: The outdoor gym at Victory Park

This week I’d like to talk to you about outdoor gyms. You may have come across one in your local park and wondered about giving it a go. They are similar to the gym equipment found in leisure centres and can be found in public spaces providing a selection of equipment that anyone can use – for free! There is also the added benefit that exercising in the fresh air gives.

I chatted to 77 year old Surrey Coalition member Richard Gosling, who lost his sight 43 years ago. Richard has been using his local outdoor gym for the last 5 years. He tells me a friend told him about the gym in Victory Park, Addlestone and knowing how beneficial exercise is, he gave it a try. Richard visits twice a week with his good friend, Harry and they exercise for about 30 mins or so, maybe more, sometimes running around the park too, always with a good chat and catch up.

Outdoor gyms are designed for anybody to use, at any time, for free. The equipment is safe and simple to use without the need for an instructor as there will always be instructions on the machines to show you how to use them. There are usually some machines designed to build strength where you will be seated and push or pull levers with some resistance, or you might have a plate to put your feet on and push with your legs. There will also be some equipment to raise your heart rate a little, maybe a static bike or cross trainer. Richard’s favourite at Victory Park is the cross trainer which he uses to warm up and get the heart pumping.

Richard thoroughly recommends people give outdoor gyms a try, he says “These places are free and usually not too far away. It will improve your wellbeing, your mental wellbeing and wake you up” “There is the motivation of getting together with a good friend and knowing that I will feel more cheerful after.”

If you’d like to find out where your nearest outdoor gym is – check out the m below. Unfortunately, there isn’t currently anywhere that gives a comprehensive list of locations – something that I’m working on! Please do let me know if your local outdoor gym is not on this list.

Tandridge:              

  • Queens Park, Caterham-on-the-hill
  • Whyteleafe Recreation Ground, Hillbury Road, Whyteleafe
  • Holland Park, Oxted

Reigate and Banstead:    

  • Redhill Memorial Park, London Road, Redhill

Epsom and Ewell: 

  • Court Recreation Ground, Hazon Way, Epsom
  • Gibraltar Recreation Ground, West Street, Ewell,
  • Shadbolt Park, Worcester Park
  • The Warren, Beaconsfield Road, Epsom

Mole Valley:           

  • Kingston Road Playground, Leatherhead
  • Meadowbank, Dorking

Elmbridge:              

  • Long Ditton Recreation Ground, Windmill Lane, Long Ditton
  • Cobham Recreation Ground, Lushington Drive, Cobham
  • Coronation Recreation Ground, Molesey Road, Hersham
  • Hurst Park, Sadlers Rise, West Molesey

Spelthorne:             

  • Hengrove Park, Station Crescent, Staines
  • Shepperton Recreation Ground, Grove Road, Shepperton

Runnymede:

  • Hythe Park, Field View, Egham
  • Victory Park,  Chertsey Road, Addlestone

Waverley:   

  • Farnham Park Trim Trail, Folly Hill, Farnham

Guildford:   

  • Stoke Park Fitness Trail, Nightingale Road, Guildford
  • Kingston Meadows Trim Trail, Kingston Avenue, East Horsley
  • Westborough Woods Trim Trail, Guildford

Woking:       

  • Woking Park, Kingfield Road, Woking
  • Goldsworth Park Recreation Ground, Woking
  • Vyne Field, Redding Way, Knaphill

Surrey Heath:         

  • Frimley Lodge Park Trim Trail, Sturt Road, Frimley Green
  • Windlesham Field of Remembrance, Kennel Lane, Windelsham

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