'Fitness Zones' Created in Los Angeles Parks
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2007 (KABC-TV) (KABC) -- We all know we've got to exercise, but sometimes time and money are at a premium. But now there's no more excuse -- a community agency has put free public gyms outdoors so the whole family can get fit together.
It's a place where everyone can hang out -- neighborhood parks. No more sitting on the sidelines while the children play on soccer fields, swings and ride their bikes. Now parents can exercise alongside their kids in newly designated "family fitness zones." We checked out the first one at Belvedere Park in East L.A.
At first glance, it looks like a grownup playground. East L.A. resident Manuel Munoz says he feels like a kid who got new toys.
"I think it's great. The environment is beautiful, the weather's beautiful, people are around. It's really nice," said Munoz.
Munoz and many of his neighbors needed a place where the whole family can exercise together.
"We're good hardworking people. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to pay those big fees in the gyms," said Munoz.
So L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Kaiser Permanente and the Trust for Public Land joined forces to launch the "Fitness Zone" program. It's opened outdoor fitness projects at four other L.A. County parks and officials announced plans to open five more fitness zones in other densely populated communities.
"We all know that the obesity rates are escalating throughout the country. For the first time, our children are expected to live a shorter lifespan than we are, so we have to start making some changes," said Andy Gallardo, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.
This sturdy, weatherproof equipment is designed for people 13 and older. Organizers say it's the same type of sophisticated equipment that you can find at the best gyms.
"The equipment is really advanced so you're seeing equipment that you would normally see in a really expensive gym or an expensive club, now out in an outdoor setting that you can take advantage of," said Gallardo.
And you can be your own personal trainer.
Signs near the equipment explain how to use the machines and how to create your own fitness program.
Seventy-five-year-old Concha Nevarez and her friends at the East L.A. Seniors Club say they plan to use the equipment every day.
"We needed all this and now we're going to use it," said Nevarez.
The other four fitness zones are in Azusa, Los Angeles and La Puente. And there are plans for four more zones in El Monte and Irwindale.
The program is also looking at creating outdoor fitness areas at public transit stops.
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