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Sweat it out, outside
City installs new outdoor workout gear at Olexin Park

Daniel Campbell
Northern News Services
Published Friday, July 19, 2013

Excuses are running out for Yellowknifers who avoid exercise.

The city finished construction on an outdoor workout area at Olexin Park on Tuesday.

NNSL photo/graphic

Sagan Power-Thériault, 5, teeters across the balance beam at the new fitness area in Olexin Park. - Daniel Campbell/NNSL photo

It's complete with chin-up bars, a balance beam, an elliptical, push-up stations and various other exercise posts.

It's an outdoor gym that doesn't require a membership, and is free and open to anyone.

The gym is on 52nd Street, across from Fraser Tower. It's fenced in with a soft, shredded rubber surface. The machines are built to last, with sturdy metal construction grounded in concrete.

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines state adults should have at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week, while children should have at least 60 minutes of activity per day.

According to Statistics Canada, adults in the Northwest Territories engage in more physical activity during their spare time than the rest of Canada - but there's also more overweight and obese adults in the Territories per capita than the rest of Canada.

Grant White, the city's director of community services, said the structures were built to promote fitness in the city.

"We want to offer the community healthy living alternatives and a healthy lifestyle. You can use your own body resistance, it's easily accessible and it comes at no cost to the individual," White said.

He added the new equipment cost about $50,000. The city shared the cost of the park with Copper Sky Condos.

The City of Yellowknife recommended a budget of $1,015,000 toward parks this year, up from $985,000 in 2012.

White said the city has received positive feedback on the outdoor gym and plans on building more along the Niven Lake trail in the future.

NNSL photo/graphic

Fitness Statistics

Percentage of overweight or obese adults (2012)

  • NWT: 42%
  • Alberta: 37%
  • Canada: 38%

Percentage of adults who engage in physical activity during their free time (2012)

  • NWT: 46%
  • Alberta: 43%
  • Canada: 44%

Source: Statistics Canada

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