Free fitness centers, for anyone who wants to use them. No, it is not a dream. Soon the Jerusalem municipality will open outdoor fitness centers in public parks throughout the capital, at no entry charge.
The plan was devised to encourage a healthy life style among city residents, many of whom cannot afford the high membership fees at local gyms. The idea was inspired by a similar program in China, where cities boast free fitness centers run by the government and open to the public to encourage sporting activities.
The city plan’s to first pilot a large fitness center in Sachar Garden and, depending on its success, will set up more centers at other parks throughout Jerusalem.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle
Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski said that the city’s aim is to promote a healthy lifestyle including awareness of proper nutrition and physical fitness, among both adults and children.
According to the plan, which was drafted by head of the city’s Sports Authority Uri Menahem, during the first stage 20 fitness machines, at a cost of about NIS 152,000 (about USD 34,500), will be installed in the park, including stationary bicycles, weight machines, step machines, rowing machines, multi-trainers and more. The total cost of the fitness center in Sachar Garden, which will start operating in the next few months, will stand at roughtly NIS 336,500 (about USD 76,373).
The machines at the park gym are slightly different from those typically found in fitness centers, as they need to suit the open area. Thus athletes will not find free weights at the site, nor a fitness instructor.