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A group of people in an outdoor fitness class

Outdoor gyms make wonderful additions to community spaces, allowing for people to access fitness equipment and enjoy physical activity without the financial barriers of a gym membership. 

Outdoor gym equipment often resembles machines that are commonly used at indoor gyms, just modified to withstand outdoor existence and simplified to reduce the risks associated with unsupervised use. 

Beyond durability and ease of use, many outdoor gyms favor equipment that can be used in a variety of ways. A piece of equipment as simple as a set of pull-up bars can offer a wide range of potential exercises and requires little to no maintenance. 

With all the benefits and the ultimate perk of being free, it’s no wonder that outdoor gyms continue to grow in popularity. Here’s what you need to know before heading out to your nearest fitness park or outdoor gym.

Outdoor Gym Etiquette

Just as with indoor gyms, there are certain points of etiquette that should be observed at outdoor gyms in order to ensure everyone has a safe, productive, and enjoyable workout.

One of the biggest aspects of any gym etiquette is respecting the shared space: use equipment appropriately to avoid damage, clean the seats, grips, and any other parts of the equipment you come in contact with once you are done with it, and follow any posted rules and directions.

It’s also important to be mindful of others by keeping a safe distance from other people and not blocking open equipment or walkways. Additionally, when in a public space, you should always be considerate when taking photos or filming so as not to accidentally or intentionally include anyone that does not want to be recorded.

While most outdoor gym spaces are free and openly accessible to the public, most outdoor gym classes are not. Trainers often provide equipment on top of their expertise as fitness professionals and they deserve to be paid for their efforts. Most trainers are glad to take on new clients, but check in with them before joining or wait until the class is over to get the details on how to sign up.

Most points of gym etiquette come down to common sense safety and mutual respect for your fellow fitness enthusiasts.

Listen to Your Limits

When you’re working out in the elements, it's more important than ever to be mindful of your body and respect your limits. Sunstroke and heat stroke are serious reactions that can set in after only 10 to 15 minutes if it is too hot.

When participating in outdoor fitness it’s important to take breaks and drink lots of water to help keep your core body temperature down. Take breaks in the shade where possible and wear lightweight and light-colored clothing including a hat to keep the sun off your scalp and out of your eyes.

If you feel suddenly ill or dizzy, it’s time to call it a day. Seek shade or find an indoor space that is air-conditioned, and gently hydrate as you give your body time to cool down.

Even if you are doing your outdoor workouts in the winter, it’s important to be aware of how your body is responding to the elements, to dress appropriately, and adequately hydrate.

Come Prepared

Using an outdoor gym means there likely won’t be the kinds of amenities and accommodations that are found in a traditional gym.

Be sure to bring anything you might need with you like towels, gloves, water, sunscreen, and any additional equipment you might need such as resistance bands or yoga blocks.

It’s also important to make sure that you show up to your fitness program or solo workout with enough energy to get you through your workout. You can do this by taking a pre-workout supplement or by adding more protein to meals and snacks throughout the day.

One great way to add protein to your diet and boost your energy is with a protein coffee made with Allo’s specially formulated protein powder for hot coffee. Enjoy a cup pre-workout to make sure your muscles are fueled and you’re ready to work or pair a protein-packed cup of joe with your post-workout meal to add an extra 10 grams of high-quality hydrolyzed whey protein.

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