Outdoor gym health boost

Cllr. Billy Ashe enjoying outdoor gym at Ecos Nature Park, Ballymena.
Cllr. Billy Ashe enjoying outdoor gym at Ecos Nature Park, Ballymena.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is encouraging residents to get outdoors, get healthy and enjoy the outdoor gyms on offer throughout the fantastic open spaces in the borough.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe, explained that just five minutes in the outdoor gym every day can lead to improvements in your health and wellbeing.

“Our outdoor gyms are completely free to use and are suitable for all, from experienced gym goers to beginners,” Cllr. Ashe said.

He added: “The equipment offers any user of the park an opportunity to increase their physical activity and is designed to give a mix of cardiovascular, strength and toning exercises. All equipment has clear guidelines for proper use and information on which part of the body it is benefitting.”

The installations have been specially configured to allow users to get the maximum benefit of the equipment in the shortest time. By concentrating the equipment together, it is easier for people in the park who want a quick exercise routine during their lunchtime break or after a walk.

Outdoor gyms are available at the ecos centre, the People’s Park, Cargan Playing Fields, Ahoghill Play Area, and Broughshane Play Area.

Denise McVeigh, Mid and East Antrim Borough Physical Activity Leader, advised: “Physical activity produces real benefits for people and is important for all ages and abilities.”

She added: “It can help you keep a healthy weight, help improve your mood and reduce anxiety and depression. The benefits of exercising outdoors specifically include working harder in the natural elements, a vitamin D boost for your bones and a really healthy glow.

“My top tips for exercising outdoors are to wear plenty of layers, be seen, be safe and wear high-vis, train with friends or family where possible to make exercise social, carry a mobile phone, be aware of the terrain, environment, wildlife and livestock and carry and drink plenty of water.”