Fitness parks, free outdoor gyms with equipment built to withstand weather and vandalism, are springing up in city parks in the U.S.

The effort to get more fitness equipment into city parks, especially those in poorer areas, is being lead by the Trust for Public Land.

About 80 of the parks, known as “Fitness Zones” have been built or are in the process of being built, according to Adrian Benepe, senior vice president and director of the city park development for the trust.

Fitness Zones usually include six to eight exercise devices, but some parks have more. So far most Fitness Zones have been built in warm states, like Florida and California, but they are now being built in areas with colder weather.

Response to the Fitness Zones has been immediate and positive, according to Sherry McBee, recreation director of St. Petersburg’s parks and recreation. “I have never gone by one of them that they haven’t been heavily in use,” she said.

Here in Cape Town we’ve noticed more guys using playground jungle gyms to work out, with the Green Point Urban Park offering open-air gym facilities.

What do you reckon, should we be playing outside?