The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Redwood City Fitness Court promotes wellbeing

Lacey Soares
Two residents do suspended push-ups on the “push” section of the Redwood City Fitness Court. As they attended a class, Lacey Soares, the Fitness Court Ambassador, guided them on how to use the equipment. “I’m there as support and to make sure that people are using the equipment safely and effectively,” Soares said.

Accessible. Active. Social.

These are the qualities that Redwood City and the National Fitness Campaign (NFC) are committed to bringing to residents in the community through the Fitness Court. Designed as a free outdoor gym, the court’s convenient location and built-in equipment for varied workouts create an opportunity for building connections among residents. 

“It really brings health and wellness opportunities broadly to the community,” said Lucas Wilder, the Redwood City Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department (PRCS) assistant director. 

According to Wilder, the city had already incorporated small fitness elements into its parks over the years. Still, the area near the Redwood Shores Library and the Bay Trail presented an ideal location for a larger installation.

“Especially tied into the library and then having parking available there, it could be an ideal destination along your route of the Bay Trail where you could stop and work out,” Wilder said.

The city partnered with the NFC because of its comprehensive circuit training system, which includes seven stations designed for seven movements: core, squat, push, lunge, pull, agility, and bend.

The Fitness Court contains equipment such as rings and bars for pull-ups and other arm exercises, boxes and raised platforms for jumping and lunges, and padded flooring for core and agility exercises. (Lacey Soares)

“When you go to the Fitness Court, you can work on strengthening and have a full-body workout,” said Redwood City Fitness Court Ambassador Lacey Soares.“Biking, walking, and running on the trail are more cardio-driven, and there isn’t any strengthening involved.”

According to a 2022 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46.9% of adults in the U.S. met the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity. Yet, only 24.2% of adults met the standard for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. 

The lack of muscle-strengthening activity can be attributed to various factors. 

“Not everybody can afford a gym membership. And not everybody necessarily has space at their home to have home fitness equipment,” Wilder said. 

Soares observes that some people don’t feel comfortable and confident going to the gym.

“A lot of people don’t want to go to the gym because they feel intimidated. They feel they need to look a certain way and have a certain build,” Soares said.

In contrast, the Fitness Court provides a free and inclusive environment for residents to exercise comfortably.

“The Fitness Court is different because it’s free, a lot smaller, and it feels very open and welcoming to everyone,” Soares said.

Additionally, the court is for all levels of athleticism. According to Soares, it provides a range of workouts for people new to exercise, older people who want to target mobility and balance, and athletes who wish to do more intensive training.

Judes Sarmiento, a Redwood Shores resident, finds that the Fitness Court’s simplicity motivates him to exercise, using the app to guide him through personalized workouts.

“It has an app that really pulls you in and gamifies the whole process. Because of the app, you can actually be encouraged to go back and exercise more because you want to do the rest of the exercises in the app as well,” Sarmiento said.

You’ve got that sense of community inside your community, but it’s also a reason to get out and get active.

— Lacey Soares

With increasing amounts of residents starting to use it, the Fitness Court will aid in encouraging healthy lifestyles and make lasting impact on its surrounding community. 

“The goal is to get people outside and active, and it also ties in with the community,” Soares said. “You’ve got that sense of community within your community, but it’s also a reason to get out and get active.”

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About the Contributor
Sophia Fu
Sophia Fu, Staff Writer
Sophia Fu (Class of 2026) is thrilled to cover local news for Scot Scoop this year. She hopes to explore the impacts of events in greater depth and connect with people along the way. Outside of reporting, she plays the violin in Carlmont's Symphony Orchestra, performs for senior citizens as a member of the Music Box Quartet, reads stories ranging from scientific innovations to mysteries, and plays tennis.

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