Outdoor Exercise Stations installed at eight County Parks

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has announced that ten outdoor exercise stations have been, or are being installed, at eight of the county’s parks as part of the county’s continuing effort to help residents through its Live Well Allegheny campaign. The stations, located adjacent to major playgrounds in most of the county parks, offer an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors while using exercise equipment. 

“I’m thrilled to make this announcement and to offer another amenity in our county parks to the over two million people who visit each year,” said Fitzgerald. “We know that exercise controls weight, combats health condition and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep and, although it may be hard for some people to believe, can even be fun. We hope that these stations become a popular place for individuals and families, and that it’s one more way that they can ‘live well’ in Allegheny County.” 

The Parks Department, working along with Public Works and the Allegheny Regional Asset District, purchased outdoor fitness equipment from Xccent Fitness. A Minnesota company, Xccent designs and manufactures equipment in the United States which is designed for adults and teens with the goal of improving strength, cardiovascular, stretching and balance. The 69 pieces of equipment were purchased with support from the Allegheny Regional Asset District. 

“The Allegheny Regional Asset District is proud to be a major funder of the county’s regional parks and trails, places where anyone can go – any day of the week, any week of the year – to enjoy sports, recreation and nature,” said Daniel J. Griffin, Vice Chair of the Allegheny Regional Asset District’s Board of Directors. “I am especially proud that 65% of all RAD funds are granted to parks, libraries and other assets that are free to the public.” 

Stations in Round Hill Park, Settler’s Cabin Park, South Park and White Oak Park have been installed and are available for use now. The remaining fitness stations in Boyce Park, Deer Lakes Park, Harrison Hills Park and North Park will be ready for use by June 15.

The proximity to playgrounds in most of the parks allows parents to get a workout while keeping an eye on their children. Both Deer Lakes Park and South Park have trail fitness stations and equipment is spread along an existing walking path. 

“Since the creation of the county’s parks system in 1927, we have continued to build upon and grow our system to today’s 12,000 acres in nine separate and distinctive parks,” said Council Member John Palmiere, Chair of County Council’s Committee on Parks. “I’m proud of our investment in this system. With additions like these exercise stations, we continue to provide more opportunities for our residents to experience nature while engaging in activities that they enjoy.”

While each station varies, there are five separate pieces of exercise equipment that has been purchased for the parks: 

  • Air Strider – this piece of equipment allows for a striding motion which improves hip and lower-body flexibility; it also tones legs and glutes and provides a no-impact cardio workout
  • Elliptical – this piece of equipment provides a genuine elliptical motion for a low-impact cardio workout; it improves full-body flexibility while also allowing for the toning of arms, obliques, waist, hips, glutes, quads and calves
  • Knee Raise Dip Combo – this piece of equipment provides an abdominal workout and back stretch; users can perform a knee raise on one side and dips and stretching and pull-ups on the other side
  • Arm and Leg Press Combo – this piece of equipment is a bodyweight resistance unit that allows for a lower and upper body workout; the user can change the resistance by changing their body positioning
  • Pull Up Dip Combo – this piece of equipment provides opportunity for multi-height pull-up, chin-up, and stretch with a suspending dip station that strengthens and tones, arms, chest, shoulders and back; it is a multi-use station. 

“Allegheny County residents are finding fun ways to be more physically active and these exercise stations will certainly help them in that effort,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “As I travel around Allegheny County, I see the efforts that are bringing the Live Well Allegheny vision to life. Families are walking on the beautiful trails in our county parks, or biking through their rolling acres. What has started out as an initiative has now become a regional vision for a healthier county.”

Live Well Allegheny was launched in January 2014 as a comprehensive, innovative strategy on wellness that embraces a broad concept of living well to include physical health, mental wellness, personal and community safety, prevention and preparedness, and much more. The effort is being led by the Board of Health and Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker. 

For more information on the Live Well Allegheny campaign, including how to become a Live Well Allegheny community or school, visit www.LiveWellAllegheny.com <http://www.LiveWellAllegheny.com> .