As part of a nationwide effort to put outdoor exercise areas in all 50 states, the AARP opened a fitness park this week in Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District.
The fitness center, located at 698 E. Jasper St. in the B.S. Roberts Park near Langston University-Tulsa, features elliptical machines, pull-up bars, stair steppers and other equipment for cardiovascular exercise and strength training.
The equipment was designed for all ages and abilities and is free to use, the AARP said.
“Health and well-being are central to our lives,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, adding that outdoor fitness parks have become “particularly important as we navigate new phases of staying active during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Each piece of equipment will have a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to link to instructional videos. Instructor-led fitness programs will begin in 2022 in partnership with the Tulsa Parks Department, the AARP said.
The group is also teaming up with the Historic Greenwood District Main Street Program to promote health and wellness in the Black community. A growing number of studies link exercise not only to cardiovascular health and an increased life span but also to lower rates of depression, dementia and other issues, officials said.
“We believe reimagining and creating new healthy spaces and places for north Tulsa residents and the Tulsa community will drastically increase life expectancy,” said Bill White, Greenwood Main Street’s executive director.
In addition to the new AARP fitness area, B.S. Roberts Park also received a new bicycle rental station provided by This Machine Tulsa and funded by a grant through Better Bike Share. The bicycles are located adjacent to the fitness park equipment and are available year-round for low-cost rental.
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