Outdoor fitness park opened in historic Greenwood District


Residents and visitors to Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District now have a new place to play, collect and exercise thanks to a new AARP-sponsored outdoor fitness park. The fitness park is located at 698 E. Jasper St. in BS Roberts Park, across from the Langston University – Tulsa campus.

The installation is part of AARP’s 60th anniversary with fitness parks being built in every state as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

AARP’s outdoor fitness park is designed for all ages and abilities, making the benefits of an indoor facility free and available to everyone outdoors. The fitness park offers elliptical trainers, pull-up bars, steppers and other equipment for cardiovascular and strength training.

Each device has a QR code that people can scan with their smartphone to access a video that guides them through the exercises. Trainer-led fitness programs will also be offered by AARP in collaboration with the Tulsa City Parks Department in 2022.

AARP Oklahoma has also partnered with the Historic Greenwood District Main Street Program to promote health and wellbeing in the black community.

“Health and well-being are at the center of our lives. AARP is proud to bring this vibrant, accessible, AARP-sponsored outdoor fitness park to the local Tulsa community, ”said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “Supporting healthy aging has been a priority for AARP since we were founded more than 60 years ago. AARP sponsored outdoor fitness parks also help bring communities together in safe and healthy ways, which is especially important as we navigate new phases of staying active during the COVID-19 pandemic. “

A growing body of studies link exercise not only to cardiovascular health and longer life expectancy, but also to lower rates of depression, dementia, and other problems. Notably, northern Tulsans have a lower life expectancy than residents who live in southern Tulsa, the city said Report on equality indicators.

“We believe that redesigning and creating new healthy spaces and places for residents of northern Tulsa and the Tulsa community will dramatically increase life expectancy,” said Bill White, executive director of Greenwood Main Street.

In addition to the new AARP sponsored outdoor fitness park location, BS Roberts Park also received a new bike rental station from This Machine Tulsa, funded by a grant from Better Bike Share. The bicycles are located next to the fitness park equipment and can be rented cheaply all year round.

AARP also worked with FitLot, a New Orleans-based nonprofit, to create the parks. FitLot’s programming includes protocols and instructions for safely operating the devices even as the nation copes with the pandemic. The fitness parks should only be used if approved by local authorities in accordance with CDC guidelines. For a list of the open AARP-sponsored outdoor fitness parks, see fitlot.org/parks.

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