What is a Green Gym?
A Green Gym refers to a physical exercise in a new and creative way which uses your own body weight for resistance and stamina. There are so many fun and easy activities you can take part in for no cost at all, creating a Green Gym at home or in your community.
During Green Gym sessions you may take part in activities such as tree planting, walking, cycling, running, digging and similar community tasks alone or in big groups. You don’t need to use any technical equipment throughout the workout or spend a lot of money on gym gear; basically, you are at one with the environment.
Green Gym Origin
The concept of Green Gyms was originally developed in the United Kingdom during the 1990s by Dr. William Bird, an Oxford-based general practitioner and was first piloted in 1997. It has also been taken on by the Conservation Volunteers, a group of volunteers that have been reclaiming green places since 1959. These days there are thousands of people participating in various Green Gym activities across the world.
The Impact on Well being
Did you know that some Green Projects claim they can help you loose up to 300 calories in just a few hours? That is why hundreds of people join in conservation projects that provide fantastic health and fitness compared to expensive aerobic or cross training classes.
You’ll never get bored on Green Gym activities either, because they allow you to sharpen and develop your social skills and meet new people. It’s also a great chance to enjoy and discover new activities that suit you well, encourage your environmental awareness and giving you a chance to give something back to the community.
Green Gym Sessions
There are various ways that Green Gym Volunteers meet, it could be once a week with approximately one to four hours of practical conservation or gardening work. This can include clearing scrubland, allotment work, tree planting or just some fun outdoor exercise.
Sessions generally include the following:
- Talks – correct usage of tools and safe handling
- Warm up exercises to prepare the muscles for activity to reduce the risk of injury
- Work session
- Tool gathering
- Cool Down Exercise
The Benefits of Green Gyms
Research shows that Green Gym exercises create a significant increase on self esteem and mood. Getting involved in the Green Gym can improve muscle strength, which is particularly important for older people, helping to maintain their health and fitness later in life. People who are active in Green Gyms are also 50% less likely to have a stroke or heart attack thanks to the wealth of physical activity they are experiencing.
Find your nearest Green Gym and contact them to see how you can get involved by clicking here.