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Workout outside

PUBLISHED: 18:36 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 24 August 2010

An outdoor gym has been launched as part of a £500,000 initiative by the council and NHS to improve fitness in the most deprived areas in Camden. The gym, one of eight across the borough, was officially opened on Friday, July 3 in Kilburn Grange, in Me

An outdoor gym has been launched as part of a £500,000 initiative by the council and NHS to improve fitness in the most deprived areas in Camden.

The gym, one of eight across the borough, was officially opened on Friday, July 3 in Kilburn Grange, in Messina Avenue and features a number of fitness machines aimed at toning, stretching and cardio work.

Cllr Flick Rea, Camden council's executive member for culture, said: "I'm delighted with it. It's in all our interests to improve people's health.

"Kilburn is an area where the average health figures aren't as good as other places in Camden and these gyms have been put in places in the borough where we have people with early health disease, obesity and where young people don't have much to do.

"During the recession, people are thinking about what they can cut out but it's vitally important to still keep people fit and healthy.

"This is the first stage in a complete refurbishment of Kilburn Grange. Then it will be the best park in Camden rather than the park in the edge of the borough that has been neglected."

Paul Fox, NHS Camden's acting head of public health, said: "The outdoor gyms are aimed at making exercise more convenient and accessible for everyone.

"The gym equipment is suitable for people of all ages and you don't need experience to use it.

"This is a large NHS investment to improve community health and we hope this will encourage residents to be more physically active and lead longer, healthier lives."

The council are also offering regular summer sessions for the public at each of the eight sites by qualified trainers from local leisure clubs.

Phil Rumbelow, from Jubilee Hall Clubs, which will offer sessions at the outdoor gym in Lismore Circus, said: "People often find gyms intimidating and too expensive.

"These outdoor gyms are free and available to anyone throughout the day.

"The council has put these in areas of deprivation so that people that cannot afford to come to normal gyms can come here and have qualified professionals explain to them how to keep fit."

The seven other sites in Camden are at Swiss Cottage, Lismore Circus, Cantelowes Gardens, Polygon Road, Cumberland Market and Maygrove Park.


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