Washington Township is trying to help park visitors add a little muscle.
Eight new pieces of equipment were installed at Homestead and Kaltenbach parks last week that will add a new element to the workouts of residents heading to the parks.
"Unfortunately the statistics show that many adults suffer from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Research shows that many of these illnesses could be cured or prevented by changing one's diet and getting ample exercise," Washington Township Parks and Recreation Director Janell Thomas said.
"By installing this exercise equipment in our parks we hope to encourage people to take a little time out of their busy schedules to work on improving their health."
Each park got four pieces of equipment that were installed in a cluster near walking paths.
"The equipment has been placed together in a group so it can provide a nice social atmosphere for exercising," Thomas said. "We tend to work out better and more often if we make the activity a society activity."
The new machines use body weight as resistance and were chosen with the help of Matt Wenning, who works with Washington Township employees each week to improve their health, Thomas said.
"Fitness expert Matt Wenning helped me pick out the variety of equipment we selected for each park, based on body parts each piece strengthens and safety in use," she said.
The new equipment includes a rower, two-person lat pull down, two-person lying leg curl, two-person cross country ski, two-person incline sit-up benches and a four-person pendulum abs and dip station. A station for plyometrics also was set up in Homestead Park.
The equipment, created by Greenfields Outdoor Fitness, is the first for Washington Township parks.
"Most of our activities in the park are geared toward youth. Many adults do enjoy the pathways, as well as basketball and volleyball; however, I feel this equipment will really be utilized since it is such an individualized activity," Thomas said. "Each person can create their own workout program based on their abilities and work to increase their activities at their own rate."
The equipment will have instructions, but is easy to use. According to Thomas, the equipment is built for people over age 13.
"We hope (the) Washington Township Parks and Recreation Department can assist in improving the quality of life of our residents," she said.
Homestead Park is at 4675 Cosgray Road and Kaltenbach Park is at 5958 Cara Road.