If you're like me and would rather exercise outdoors, a parcourse can add variety to your workout. When it comes to exercise, I'm a runner at heart. But, no matter how often I vary my route, it can get a little boring.
The next time you run, cycle, skate, or walk along the Charles, try pulling over at the newly rehabbed parcourse. It's located on the Boston side, between the B-U and Mass. Ave. Bridges.
You'll see apparatus setup in a series on a brick red surface. It may look a bit "playground basic," but in reality it's well designed. Wait until you feel that recycled rubber matting. I couldn't resist giving a few test bounces.
There are signs with instructions for getting the most out of the equipment. Separate panels give guidance for use from a wheelchair.
According to Wendy Fox, Press Secretary for the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the current parcourse, was paid for out of a state bond issue. This sleek metal version replaces a wooden "Parcourse Fitness Cluster" that was donated to the park in 1985 by Bay State Health Care, Inc.
The Parcourse is on the Esplanade Boston side between the BU and Mass Ave Bridges, near the Sherborn Street pedestrian crossover. This map will put you near the spot. (map)
Click here for more information on parcourses.
While many people prefer to stay fit at an indoor gym, you'd be surprised what this open-air equipment can do. It lets you work the upper and lower body– a lot like you might have done naturally as a kid using tree limbs and rocks. And, it's free- no membership fees. So, the next time you're exercising on the Esplanade, take time to play at your new parcourse.
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Posted by Ed Cherubino
Photos ©2009 Penny Cherubino
Thanks to Wendy Fox and DCR archivist, Sean Fisher for their assistance with the history.