We have only recently launched the website, but the team – teachers, parents, students, local citizens – has been busy behind the scenes for a long while to make the Windermere Fitness Park a reality. In this space, you’ll find documented important moments from the project, a collection of feature stories from the journey to bring this fitness park to life for the school and community.
Why is a warm up before exercise important? What changes within the body occur when we warm up before exercising? Will a warm up protect you from injuries? These are all important questions about an essential component of fitness that many people don’t pay a lot of attention to. Let’s take a deep dive into why a warm up should be the first thing anyone does when working out.
This deep dive into “active posture” shows you how to recognize, establish, and maintain an anti-gravity stance while you’re exercising. Active posture supports your body under load, helps you sense what your body is doing, and encourages you to use good form while performing any exercise. In a few easy steps, you’ll be an active posture expert. Find out how easy it is to practise active posture in all your daily activities. After all, daily life is full of movement. Movement loves active posture.
In this article you will learn some key points on how to get the most out of your visits to the Windermere Community Fitness Park. Empowered with this information, you’ll be able to master correct form and posture for each exercise; you’ll be able to gauge exactly how much work you need to do; you’ll be able to reduce the time you take for a workout; and you’ll be able to optimize recovery to help your muscles rebuild. In essence, with this information, you’ll become your own personal trainer.
The Windermere Community Fitness Park Project team of teachers, parents, volunteers and community members is deeply grateful to all of the individuals and corporations who have donated money, time, and resources to help make phase one of Windermere Community Fitness Park a reality. With phase two in the fundraising stage, we invite you to pledge your 100% tax-free donation!
Windermere Community Fitness Park will be the home of Vancouver’s first dedicated outdoor table tennis court as phase two of the park is approved. Table tennis is the world’s second largest participation sport, second only to soccer. And like soccer, personal equipment cost is not a barrier to participation. A pair of sneakers, an entry level racquet, a few balls and you’re all set to develop mad skills, balance, reaction time, endurance, power and coordination.
Bring your smart phone to the fitness park! Our new “scan to learn” information system for finding out how to use the stations at Windermere Community Fitness park is now complete. The online information system was a collaboration between Brad White, Windermere PE Director, and a local volunteer who just happens to be a retired NSCA-certified Personal Trainer who worked the front lines of fitness centres with the city of Vancouver for 35 years! How’s that for fortuitous?
What’s the only two dimensional station in the fitness park? That’s right, it’s the SAQ Ladder. SAQ stands for Speed, Agility, Quickness and while the ladder itself is no more than coloured rubber, it’s a valuable and indispensable asset to any comprehensive fitness park.
The ubiquitous High Bar is the most commonly included station in any fitness park. In fact, visit the many tiny “fitness parks” operated by Vancouver Parks and Rec. and you’ll be sure to find a high bar among the 2 or 3 stations. Here in Windermere Community Fitness Park, the High Bar is surrounded by 15 other stations but sits atop the pyramid of equipment importance as being the most challenging station, providing a base for dozens of exercises, even for the absolute beginner.
Parallettes are, by definition, “small gymnastics devices, employed in pairs, used primarily to simulate the parallel bars that can be found in professional gymnasiums”. Aside from their appeal as equipment for gymnasts, parallettes are also appropriate for other athletes who want to develop strength by means of bodyweight exercises.
No fitness park is complete without a station to specifically challenge balance. Meet the balance beam! It may not be as exciting and the Low Rings or as rewarding as ringing the bell on the Rope Climb, but spend a little time walking the Balance Beam and realize how easy balance can slip away unless you work at it. Hello older adults!
What Is Plyometrics? Plyometrics is a type of exercise training that uses speed and force to challenge muscle systems and build muscle power over time. Jumping from a 24″ plyo step, landing and then immediately bounding up onto the next plyo step is an essential plyometric exercise. Plyometric exercises involves large dynamic loads and quick changes in direction, amplifying loads. If this sounds a lot like real life activities and sport actions, you’re right!
Core Bench, Crunch Bench, even Lunch Bench, this station had wide versatility depending on your intent. For those looking for a workout, this pair of benches set 2-3 feet apart offers many options, especially for exercises for the core mid section muscles, front and rear.
The bar for access is set pretty low for the Low Bar Station! That is, anyone of any ability can use this simple, single bar set 18″ off the ground for a variety of exercises that work the entire body. As with any other station in the fitness park, be creative and make this station work for you as you workout on station #9.
Gymnastic wall bars (also known as a gymnastic ladder, Swedish ladder, Swedish wall or as stall bars) were invented at the beginning of the 19th century by the Swedish PE teacher Per Henrik Ling who, when suffering from arthritis, realized the therapeutic potential of wall-bars exercise. With this tall set of horizontal bars, the sky’s the limit for creating exercises!
The Vertical Cargo Net Station is a wall of nylon ropes set in a 12″ gridded pattern and it’s primarily used for climbing activities. The flexibility and suppleness inherent in a wall made from rope makes it ideal for a variety of exercises that involve gripping and hanging, like knee or leg lifts; or stretching and balance activities.
The Peg Travel station is a favourite for those with a strong grip and slight body mass. We’re talking kids here: little dynamos who can fly across the long row of pegs with ease and grace. For adults this station is just the opposite and presents a real challenge for most grown-ups to even hang from a peg with one arm. But many adults see this station as more than a obstacle. The most common use is for anchoring a suspension training device.
The Press Machine consists of two exercise stations back to back. One is a squat station where you could also add a shoulder press at the top of the movement. The other is the chest press station where you sit and push. This station is a throwback to when fitness parks consisted of limited single-use exercise units, which are comparatively expensive and not very practical.
The Low Rings is an extremely versatile double station allowing two people to workout at the same time. The range of exercises you can perform here is vast, but we have included a dozen or so of the very best for you to try. The Low Rings act as suspension trainer-style device, anchored at one end, and a set of rings on the active end. The rings can he held with the hands and you can place your toes through the openings for a whole range of core exercises.
The Parallel Bars station seems pretty simple with the three bars offset and parallel. Yet, this simple configuration presents the opportunity to perform many standard exercises that work the entire body. The bars are at an optimum height for stretching both the lower and upper body.
This exercise station consists of a single pole with multiple (“multi”) anchor points a varying heights for attaching stretchy bands or a suspension trainer. The anchors are purposely offset from each other so several people can use the pole at the same time.
A month after the rubber surface was installed and allowed to cure, workers from Marathon Surfaces arrived to remove the security fencing surrounding the Windermere Community Fitness Park site. As of this morning, and without the usual fanfare, the fitness park was unofficially open to the community. By early evening the site was alive with families exploring the array of exercise stations for the first time. Yet to be installed are the QR codes on each station offering exercise suggestions when scanned with a smart phone, and the large format welcome sign that provides an overview of the fitness park.
The Windermere Fitness Park installation made great progress this past week. By the start of the long weekend, the fitness equipment had been assembled and erected, and the concrete bases, poured a few days before, had firmly set. On Monday, the team from Habitat Systems had completed most of their work. On Tuesday, the team from Marathon Surfaces arrived to begin the installation of the rubber surface.
Welcome to the Windermere Community Fitness Park, Exercise Database! This is a master list of the all stations in the WCFP and the many exercises you could learn to do on each of the stations. In addition, we’ve included some resources to help you learn about muscles, anatomy and types of movement.
Progress really picked up last Monday on the Windermere Fitness Park project and by the end of the week most of the structures had been assembled and positioned in place awaiting concrete to anchor the bases. Brad White, the project manager is hopeful that the rubber surface would be poured this week to complete the construction phase of the project.
Construction of the new Windermere Fitness Park resumed on June 20. A crack crew from Habitat Systems arrived with the new Windermere-orange fitness equipment and resumed excavating holes in the asphalt for anchoring the bases of each of the 15 stations. Construction of the fitness park had stopped last month when the equipment arrived finished in a powder-coat of blue paint instead of orange. The resumption of construction is happening quicker than anyone had anticipated and the park will likely be open sometime in July or August.
A long-anticipated email from Brad White, Windermere PE Department Head, announcing the start of construction of the Windermere Fitness Park, arrived on May 19 to the delight of everyone involved with the fitness park project. The day after, security fencing went up, holes for foundations were dug, the equipment was off-loaded from flatbed trucks and laid out in pieces on the ground for assembly. That’s when someone noticed the equipment was not the orange colour ordered…
It’s official. The Windermere Fitness Park project is a GO! The years-long efforts of Brad White and the PAC has paid off. The equipment and rubber surface for the park have now been fully funded: Phase 1 by individuals, businesses, the VSB and the PAC, and Phase 2 by the government of Canada, through the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. The facility is expected to open in late April.
The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. Brad White applied on behalf of the Windermere Fitness Park (WFP) project and within months found out that indeed, we qualified. Read the story here…
Introducing Windermere Fitness Park featured donor Andrew Tuovinen of Athletic Endeavours Personal Training and Multi-sport Endurance Coaching who, until recently, made his home here in Renfrew Heights. “Even though I’ve moved a few kilometres away, I donated because I believe in this project and I think it will pave the way for more fitness parks.”
The Windermere PAC wants you, students, families, and residents of Renfrew Heights… to get fit for life. That’s right, you can be prepare to be fit for life tomorrow by making the Windermere Fitness Park a reality with your generous donation today.
Owners Sonny and Yuyi of SY Farm Market at 2438 E Hastings Street live near the school and donated $500 towards the Windermere Fitness Park describing their contribution as a “no-brainer”. “We value our community and try to give back when we can”, adds Sonny. Many thanks to the Deng family for their generous support!
The Windermere Fitness Park team is overjoyed to announce the PAC executives of Windermere Secondary have made the decision to donate $6,000 more towards the fitness park!!! This is in addition to $5,000 already approved earlier this year. Remarkably, a total of $11,000 is being donated from the PAC 🙂
With phase one complete and the fitness park open, efforts have begun in earnest to raise approximately $25,000 for phase two of the Windermere Community Fitness Park. Phase two includes Vancouver’s first dedicated outdoor table tennis court, two tribute-ready benches overlooking the fitness park, some landscaping, and a small contingency fund for adjuncts and accessories for the fitness park.