A fitness trail, outdoor exercise equipment, or parcourse, consists of a or equipped with obstacles or stations distributed along its length for exercising the human body to promote good health. The course is designed to promote physical fitness training in the style attributed to Georges Hébert. In general, fitness trails can be natural or man-made, located in areas such as forest, transportation rights-of-way, parks, or urban settings. Equipment exists to provide specific forms of physiological exercise, and can consist of natural features including climbable rocks, trees, and river embankments, or manufactured products (stepping posts, chin-up and climbing bars) designed to provide similar physical challenges. The degree of difficulty of a course is determined by terrain slope, trail surface (dirt, grass, gravel, etc.), obstacle height (walls) or length (crawls) and other features. Urban parcourses tend to be flat, to permit participation by the elderly, and to accommodate cyclists, runners, skaters and walking. The new concept of an outdoor gym, containing traditional gym equipment specifically designed for outdoor use, is also considered to be a development of the parcourse. These outdoor exercise gyms include moving parts and are often made from galvanised metal.
The original parcours was invented in 1968 by Swiss architect Erwin Weckemann with support from Swiss life insurance firm Vita. The first course was built in Zurich, Switzerland. Hundreds of courses were built in Europe by 1972. Courses built in ensuing years included:
Fitness Trails can include stations for the upper body, lower body, balance & coordination and climbing/jumping equipment designed to test the whole body.
Installations are found across AU.
* Among pedestrian trails there is a fitness trail in the village of Steinfort.
* Blockhouse Bay Recreation Reserve, City of Auckland New Zealand.
East Bay * A parcourse is located around Spring lake in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, adjacent to Howarth Park. San Francisco Peninsula * There is an “outdoor exercise park” in Santa Clara’s Central Park.
* A dirt fitness trail, including stations with scaling walls, pull-up bars, and other activities, runs around Lincoln Park on Lincoln Avenue in Corona.
* There is an 18 station par course at North Tahoe Regional Park, which is located at 6600 Donner Road, one mile west of Highway 267 and one mile north of Highway 28 in Tahoe Vista.
* Morley Fields Sport complex – Perrier Parcourse Fitness Circuit. This fitness circuit was donated by the Groeat Waters of France Company, distributor of Perrier water. The circuit includes eighteen exercise stations spaced over a 2.5 mile path. * Downtown San Diego, Embarcadero Marina Park South. Fitness course with various stations. Incorporate the Convention Center stairs into the course for a killer workout. NOTE: Area is closed frequently in the summer for concerts: Access during this time is limited to the morning – late afternoon.
*There is a parcourse located in the woods surrounding Waycross College.
*Giles Conrad Park in Boone County, KY features a 1.3 mile trail dotted with fitness stations.
*In Franklin, TN, Pinkerton Park, located near downtown, has a 1-mile fitness trail.
*Maintained list of Fitness Trails in the Puget Sound area, Washington State, US.
* In Sendero las Brumas, Valle del Cauca has a 4.3 mile fitness trail
* Calisthenics Parks – find one near you.