Hurley outdoor fitness court makes staying active more accessible
At first glance, the Fitness Court at Cary Park in Hurley may look more like a jungle gym for kids than a workout place for adults.
Large boxes of varying heights and widths spring from the court surface.
Metal rods that look like a single monkey bar jut out from a wall, each with two metal rings hanging down from attached wires.
Poles curve up out of the court before looping back down.
Each built-in piece of equipment is designed to be an outdoor gym.
“It lets people use their own bodyweight to get a complete workout using seven exercise stations. The core, the squat, push, the lunge, pole, agility, and bend are the seven stations,” explained Iron County Health Department Health Officer Melissa Geach. She says each station can be adapted for all fitness levels.
The outdoor gym is part of a national effort by Quartz Health Solutions and the National Fitness Campaign.
There’s a free app that shows people how to do the various workouts and the court itself is free to use.
The goal of the National Fitness Campaign is to have a court like this within a 10-minute bike ride to every American.
Geach says it also fits in well with the Iron County Health Department’s goal of increasing physical activity and wellness for its residents. 9
“In Wisconsin, one of our leading causes of death is heart disease. Cancer, stroke, and diabetes also rank in the leading cause of death. The purpose of this project was really to address the disparities in the health outcomes, obesity rates, and the lack of access to physical activity,” said Geach. “We just found it really important to prioritize fitness and the fitness court really helped reach our goal to meet some of our Community Health Improvement Plan.”
The court was paid for with a combination of American Rescue Plan Act dollars and grants.
It is open year round. Geach says there isn’t a plan to clear it of snow, but access to Cary Park is kept plowed throughout the winter.
“I just hope people take advantage of it. It's been really fun to see the community come together and support an initiative that everyone can use. Whether it's the aging, and all the way down to the 14-year-olds, I think it's going to be a really great opportunity in our community.”
This is the third court of this kind in Wisconsin.
The other two are in the southern part of the state.