American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

Parks are a valuable resource in our communities that can help activate and engage everyone to get outside and get moving. In fact, research tells us that individuals who live near parks are some of the most physically active members in their communities. From open spaces and outdoor workout equipment, to running and walking trails – parks can offer variety that is appealing to many and that many traditional gyms cannot.


Here are 5 ways you can encourage your clients and community members to get outside this summer:

Obtain Proper Permitting

When hosting programs in parks it is important to remember to check with your local parks and recreation department to understand if a permit is required. Permitting is important when operating your business on public lands to ensure the safety of your clients and help preserve the park land and equipment. Check out our Shared Use Guidelines for tips on how to be professional and courteous when using public parks.

Take Your Workouts Outside

Once you have set up the proper relationships needed to run your business in a park, they are great locations for programs like boot camps and youth camps. As an exercise professional and health coach, there are some things to consider when it comes to etiquette in the parks. Review our eight tips for conducting a fitness class in a public space to ensure you and your clients have a successful session.

Volunteer Your Services

People are drawn to businesses and individuals who do good in their community. Hosting a free workout in a park is a good way to engage with others in your community. Offering your services at no charge can help build your brand and potentially recruit new clientele you would not normally interact with in your regular gym setting. See how our partners at 3WINS Fitness have used free community workout classes to get communities moving in southern California.

Start a Walking Group

Many parks have walking and running trails that are great for getting everyone moving. Individuals and families alike can benefit from joining a structured walking group. Use our free downloadable Walking Toolkit to learn how to engage your clients in a creative and fun walking group.

Get Kids Moving

Networking with organizations that already are using parks to get kids moving during the summer months can be a simple way to expand your business. Try reaching out to local youth out-of-school programs to see how your expertise in physical activity might help expand their programs. Check out the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s resources for tips on getting involved with healthy out-of-school programs.


To learn more about how to collaboratively work with parks and public lands, email

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