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08.08.2013 - Ausgabe: 4/2013

Outdoor fitness area in Berlin Neukölln

In the stressful big-city environment of Berlin, endurance training and resistance exercising help maintain general health and fitness.


In order to counteract the related negative effects in areas in which a wide range of social conditions have been in state of decline over the long term, Berlin’s ‘Quartiersmanagement’ (neighbourhood management) scheme has been set up as part of the city’s urban renewal programme. This evaluates the various city neighbourhoods with the aim of making long term improvements to the given situation and thus providing for stabilisation. Various subsidies are available for this purpose and are designed to be used to promote self-help projects and thus augment the participation of Berlin’s citizens in the running of their own city.

Such a project was launched in the ‘Flughafenstraße’ neighbourhood of Neukölln. A group of young people felt that they lacked sufficient local facilities to keep themselves physically fit and registered their interest in the outdoor fitness equipment manufactured by the company Kompan. They had targeted as a suitable site the Boddinplatz, which contains a traffic island with green strip, small pathways and park benches. It is surrounded by residential buildings while there are many offices located in the nearby Kindl Boulevard centre, which also houses the local Parks Department.

Thanks to the funding provided through the ‘Quartiersmanagement’ scheme and the commitment of the young people themselves, the sought-after outdoor fitness area soon became reality. It is not just the youngsters who now use the site; an increasing number of workers from the nearby offices have begun spending part of their midday breaks here with the aim of keeping fit.

Those already visiting this facility regularly are aware that outdoor fitness training provides not only for social interaction but also represents an attractive and healthy form of leisure activity. Health is increasingly becoming a matter of public concern as greater focus is placed on the social problems associated with inactivity and obesity. The X-ERCISE product line by Kompan provides an easy way for those seeking a physical challenge to exercise without the necessity for complicated instructions on how to use the equipment; users can thus concentrate fully on their daily work-out. Demanding and effective training is possible for everyone aged 15 – 99 years, promoting a healthy and energetic lifestyle.

A more healthy future

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults should engage in moderate physical training for 30 minutes on five days per week. They should perform at least 8 – 10 muscle strengthening exercises (each to be repeated 8 – 12 times) at least twice a week. But this is beyond the capacity of many people.
Those who wish to stay fit even in old age need to remain physically active throughout their whole life. Anyone who takes the trouble to do as much as they can for their health and fitness will benefit in the form of an improved quality of life and will maintain their independence.
There are three main elements that contribute to being in good physical shape. These can be effectively promoted and developed with the aid of outdoor fitness equipment: Cardiovascular fitness and stamina. Flexibility. Muscle strength
The best form of fitness and health training is to combine outdoor fitness exercises with walking or jogging.

The young people and office workers who use the outdoor fitness facility in the Boddinplatz are profiting from this in many respects; they are not only doing something for the benefit of their own health but also for that of the locality as a whole.

Photos: Kompan

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