A good workout has never been more accessible now Ottawa has opened its new fitness court at Kiwanis Park.
The city celebrated the new court Friday morning with a ribbon cutting and demonstration on how to use the new equipment from members of CrossFit 350, a crossfit gym in Ottawa.
Sarah Nanouski, a children’s instructor at the gym, directed Brad Hughes and Tara Francisco in exercises that demonstrated how the stations should be used. There are stations for squats, core exercises, agility exercises and exercises of all kinds.
“I think it’s a great asset to our community,” Nanouski said. “It’s great to have, not only for the community to use free of charge but also to get people active.”
The fitness court was created with people aged 14 and older in mind and for people with all abilities, with workouts adaptable for all levels. The free Fitness Court App has routines and instructions for those wishing to use the court.
Commissioner Marla Pearson said the court is an asset to the community that expands free access to high-quality workouts and exercise for everybody.
The new equipment was made possible thanks to a $50,000 grant from the National Fitness Campaign and Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the purchase of the equipment was approved by Ottawa’s council. Ottawa spent an additional $93,350 to cover what wasn’t covered in the grant in an effort to provide the South Side with amenities similar to what the north side of town already has.
Nanouski said she would love to see classes hosted at the fitness court but with winter coming soon, it’ll be hard to use.
“I feel like if you warm up properly, you could really use this equipment as long as you warm up and your joints are nice and warm,” Nanouski said. “That’s the key. You want to warm up properly beforehand.”
Nanouski said people should get 40 minutes of exercise every day, which includes the amount of time it takes to warm up. She said people who walk to the fitness court could count their steps as part of the workout.
“Crossfit is about functional movement,” Nanouski said. “So, you’re doing movements that are supposed to extend the longevity of your independence and your ability to move.”
Deadlifting, for example, isn’t viewed as just picking up weights. Nanouski compared it to picking up gallons of milk or carrying groceries, and squats to sitting down and standing up.
Nanouski said anyone can start at any time when it comes to exercise.
“If you wait until you’re ready, you’re never going to be ready,” Nanouski said. “I don’t care if it’s your first day or your 300th day.”