Sunday, June 10, 2012

Public Gym

Retiro is a beautiful park in the heart of Madrid that provides the locals an area to relax or run or meet up with friends. Among the many things designed in the park for Madrilenos to use is a public gym. With various workout machines including a pull up bar, monkey bars, and push-up machines, locals and visitors essentially receive a free gym membership. These machines are simple apparatuses black and yellow apparatuses filling up a 300 square meter area of the park. This area is used by a surprising number of passer-byers, with a few people utilising the machine at almost any time of the day.

We Americans have an opportunity to learn from this resourcefulness. With an obesity epidemic and rising rates of diabetes, America's health could use a pick-me-up to say the least. Providing the population with free work out machines can help those who don't have access to them. Beyond that, this has the potential to cultivate a work-out culture which many would argue could do more for the health of the American population than providing every individual with free gym memberships. Parks in the United States are all geared toward children or sports fields, but it is just as useful to provide a public area that adults can use to work out on a daily basis. It makes sense for governments to invest in these adult playground which would improve their citizens' health and well-being.

Retiro park does a great job of providing Madrilenos a place for many different kinds of activities, including a serious work out. We should learn from them and model work our parks around the United States as an experimental avenue to improve America's health.


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