Bleachers used to be the only apparatus supplied for sports spectators at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, but now there’s an elliptical trainer, an air strider and a combo press-and-pull.
In fact, there are a dozen pieces of outdoor exercise equipment within view of the school’s tennis courts and some of the soccer fields, all free for community use.
“Parents, if they’re watching a game or whatever, can get a little bit of a workout. You kind of hit all of the major muscle groups here,” said Geoff Leggieri, a physical education teacher at BH-BL High School.
The machines are part of BH-BL’s new Outdoor Community Fitness Center, which opened about a week ago. Funded by a Carol White Physical Education Program grant, the 30- by 45-foot area is a complete outdoor gym.
It’s likely the first of its kind in the area, according to BH-BL physical education teacher Shawn Kline, who came up with the idea for the fitness center after seeing a similar setup in Ocean City, Md.
Located near the high school’s back parking lot, the new equipment is already getting some use.
“I run a tennis camp here and we had a ton of parents coming on to use it and the feedback has been great,” Leggieri said.
The equipment was installed in about four days by the school’s buildings and grounds crew, with help from Kline.
Positioned on a bed of maroon recycled rubber mulch, the sturdy apparatus uses body weight for resistance.
“It’s pretty effective,” said Kline. “You’d be surprised. You get quite a workout. We have younger kids that work with us in the summer and they used it and they were hurtin’.”
The exercise equipment is best for exercisers over age 10, Leggieri noted. Anyone younger than that must be supervised by an adult.
A Wellness Activities and Events board in the fitness center contains information about the equipment there, and will serve as a go-to spot for details on upcoming community health and wellness activities.
Once school’s back in session, the center will serve as an extension of the physical education department. The neighboring flat, grassy area will be put to use during gym classes as well.
Tim Brunson, principal at BH-BL High School, said he’s excited about the new addition to the school grounds.
“I would like to see it expand in the future,” he noted, outlining tentative plans for a nature trail that would wind in and out of the woods bordering the athletic fields.