How it all began
How it all began
The Get Fit movement of the 1970s can definitely be seen as a forerunner of today’s fitness boom and the outdoor exercise course. Get fit trails were circular courses three or four kilometres in length with 15 to 20 exercise stations. The aim of the movement was not competitive sport, but the affluent society plagued by obesity and circulatory diseases.
The Lower Bavaria exercise courses with playfit equipment continue this success story with new concepts, offers and equipment.
How it all started all over again
New trend sports emerged in the 1990s. Jogging in particular became a popular sport. The Get Fit movement was forgotten, and the get fit trails even more so. Many municipalities simply did not have the money to maintain them permanently.
In 2008, the DOSB and the Müller dairy initiated the revival of the get fit movement in Germany with great media coverage and success.
Since then, the installation of individual pieces of equipment has often been replaced by various types of outdoor exercise courses.
Outdoor exercise course
An outdoor exercise course is therefore a leisure activity that further develops elements of the get fit trail and combines them with playground elements. Such systems consist of several coordinated installations in public spaces. They complement the public leisure offer in parks and green spaces.
They are often specially tailored to the needs and activities of older people. Then they are also called senior playgrounds or multi-generation parks.
There are basically three factors that determine the success of such systems.
1. The embedding in the environment
2. The equipment with regard to the expected user groups
3. The quality of the installed equipment
In the past few years, no fewer than 13 attractive exercise courses have been created in Lower Bavaria, all of which have been equipped by playfit. They are designed very differently because they have been put together according to the wishes and needs of users and the environment – for example on playgrounds and sports fields, in parks or on hiking trails.
With more than 1,500 places where outdoor fitness equipment has been installed, playfit is one of the market leaders in this area.
The exercise course in the municipality of Aiterhofen (3,650 inhabitants) was created as part of the LEADER funding programme “Moving Lower Bavaria”.
The offer is aimed at all age groups, is easy to master and accessible to everyone. The devices include a duplex shoulder trainer, balance trainer, a massage-stretching station, stations for stomach and back, arm pulls and push-ups, as well as leg lifts and a balancing stretch.
The total costs of 51,500 euros were largely borne by the Bavarian State Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forests. The own contribution for Aiterhofen was only € 20,600.
The Atting exercise course is beautifully located on the western outskirts of the municipality (1,700 inhabitants), directly on the Kleine Laaber. In addition to the river, the Atting rifle club, the Atting multi-purpose hall and the local sports field are the neighbours.
There is a large selection of equipment available, also due to the neighbourhood and above all for sporty-oriented users: leg trainers, full-body trainers, duplex shoulder trainers, mobility trainers, arm bikes, balance trainers, rowing machines, 3-person horizontal bars, a calisthenics system, a leg lifter, a balancing stretch and a Trampoline.
The multi-generation park in Dingolfing was opened in 2016. It offers a total of 12 playfit devices, which were embedded in the attractive area not far from the Isar. Another highlight is the renatured Mühlbach flowing through the exercise park, into which a Kneipp basin has been incorporated.
The park is an ideal place for exercise, play and communication. At the same time, it serves as a rest zone, in which flower meadows and tree trunks as seating invite you to linger and relax. It can be reached without barriers and has state-of-the-art sanitary facilities.
At the time, more than 1,000 visitors came to the opening to try out the equipment. At that time, playfit had specifically expanded the potential of its equipment to appeal to less active users. It paid off.
Eging am See
The facility in Eging am See is located directly in the spa gardens. It offers a wonderful view of the lake, even when doing sports. Due to its location, the equipment is used by hikers and visitors to the neighbouring thermal baths.
The course is one of the oldest playfit facilities in the region. Full-body trainers, back trainers, shoulder trainers and massage machines for hands, arms and legs have been available here since 2009.
“Fit am Freudensee” is the title of the East Bavaria tourism association for the exercise course at the Freudensee leisure area in Hauzenberg.
The area is constantly being developed, the course was opened in 2020. The park and the facility are used by walkers and joggers. Both use the “outdoor fitness studio” with the seven coordinated pieces of equipment balance trainer, arm pull-up trainer, 4-person horizontal bar, balance stretch, abdominal / back station, knee flexors and leg lifters.
A swim in the lake is also part of the programme in summer.
The facility is located a little outside the village of Loiching (3,500 inhabitants), between a sports field, the Kronwieden Kneipp facility and the Isar cycle path.
As in all playfit exercise courses, detailed and understandable boards with exercise instructions in various degrees of difficulty ensure professional training for all ages and levels of ability. The eleven pieces of equipment offer a varied training programme, including for wheelchair users.
This successful project from 2017 is an important building block for the health care of locals and tourists.
Metten is five kilometres west of Deggendorf on the Danube. The special feature of this exercise course is that it is embedded in a residential area and borders on a walking path.
Here, too, the course equipment was geared towards the needs of the expected users. That is why Metten mainly has children’s play equipment and fitness facilities for residents and walkers in the district: leg trainers, full-body trainers, rowing machines, upper body trainers, parallel bars and a calisthenics facility.
In Osterhofen, the exercise course was embedded in the city park. The community and its almost 12,000 inhabitants placed great value on a facility for physical fitness and preventive health care.
Since it opened in 2017, the course has been a point of contact for cycling tourism and a popular meeting place. It is located on the upper Herzogbach, not far from the SpVgg Osterhofen sports field.
First a Nordic walking tour through the Rottauen, then (or in between) training on the equipment on the exercise course. Something like that, the facility, which opened in 2018, is often incorporated into the excursion and sports programme of the residents and visitors of parish churches. This is also due to its location in the garden of the Stadtwerke, in the immediate vicinity of the cycle paths on the Rott.
The twelve playfit outdoor fitness machines are leg trainers, full body trainers, back trainers, duplex shoulder trainers, back massage machines, arm bikes, rowing machines, upper body trainers, abdominal / back stations, arm pull-up push-up trainers, squats and balancing stretch.
The Plattling exercise course is suitable for all generations. On the dike promenade in Mühlbachpark, three stations with several pieces of equipment each are available over a length of 800 metres. They can, at least in part, also be used by people with physical limitations.
The dike promenade connects two parts of the city and leads to a sporty neighbourhood, which mainly consists of an outdoor swimming pool, the stadium, a school and a parking space for mobile homes.
The offer matches the users. All playfit exercise courses are based on this. A simple concept that just works.
The special feature of the Reisbach exercise course is its five different locations. These are spread over the entire area of the market town and its 7,770 inhabitants, preferably in combination with playgrounds, green spaces or other offers for sport and leisure.
The total of 13 pieces of equipment on display include a calisthenics system, a horizontal bar, several bars, a slackline and an abdominal / back station.
The exercise course in Salching was also created as a further attractive offer in a sporty environment, namely right next to the facility of the 1946 Salching sports club with football and tennis courts.
The equipment of the facility, which opened in 2017, includes full-body trainers, back trainers, balance trainers, a 4-person horizontal bar, slackline bollards and a balancing stretch.
Vilshofen an der Danube
The exercise course in Ginkgo Park (Gingko is a tree species from China) offers cross-generational opportunities for exercise and encounters, including for wheelchair users. This comprehensive offer makes sense because the course is directly adjacent to a large children’s playground. So, it offers young and old the opportunity to train movement, coordination and strength in a playful way.
In addition, the facility established in 2018 offers four different pieces of equipment for shoulder training, leg strengthening, an arm pull and push-up trainer as well as a rowing machine. Thanks to its location, conception and equipment, this playfit exercise course is also a very well-functioning, attractive excursion and sports offer for the whole city.
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