New outdoor fitness court coming to Aurora's Simmons Park

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, the Fox Valley Park District, and National Fitness Campaign recently announced an agreement to bring an outdoor Fitness Court to the Fox Valley Park District.

Located at Simmons Park on Aurora's east side, it will open Thursday, Sept. 29 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

This Fitness Court was developed by BCBSIL, the park district and National Fitness Campaign to expand free access to high-quality workouts and create equitable access to exercise for communities around the state. The Fitness Court is an outdoor gym that lets people use their own body weight to get a complete workout using seven exercise stations.

Created with people aged 14 and older - and with all abilities - in mind, the workouts are adaptable for all fitness levels, allowing participants to move at their own pace. Users also may download the free Fitness Court app which acts as a coach-in-your-pocket and enhances the outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness experience.

"Regular exercise is essential to maintaining personal health and reducing health care costs," said Katie Cangemi, senior program officer, Community Investment, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. "Blue Cross is committed to promoting better health in our communities, and this Fitness Court makes it easy for anyone at any fitness level to get a good outdoor workout, connect with neighbors, and stay healthy."

"This partnership allows us to introduce a unique, outdoor workout opportunity as a no-cost option for community members to enhance their own health and wellness initiatives," said Jim Pilmer, executive director of Fox Valley Park District. "The Fitness Court is easily accessible, and workouts are perfectly suited - and customizable - for all levels of fitness enthusiasts."

"National Fitness Campaign is proud to welcome the Springfield Park District to the campaign as a leader in health and wellness for Illinois and across America," said Mitch Menaged, founder of National Fitness Campaign.

Residents are invited to attend the Launch Event on at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at Simmons Park, 1191 E. Indian Trail, to try the Fitness Court.

For more information on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois' support of NFC, visit

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health care to as many people as possible in Illinois. BCBSIL is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About the Fox Valley Park District

The Fox Valley Park District is a dynamic and growing park district that serves a diverse population of more than 236,000 people. Recognized as an Illinois Distinguished Agency, Fox Valley holds the nation's highest honor as a National Gold Medal Award winner for excellence in park and recreation management. Serving the communities of Aurora, Montgomery and North Aurora, the District maintains 168 parks and 48 miles of interconnected regional trails amid 2,400 acres of parkland. Connected by the Fox River, our communities are tied together by the District's commitment to promote vibrant, healthy lifestyles through fun and safe recreation opportunities that are environmentally and fiscally responsible. The Fox Valley Park District… Where Fun Begins!

About NFC

Founded in San Francisco in 1979, National Fitness Campaign (NFC) is a wellness consulting firm that provides programs and services to cities, schools and sponsors with the mission to build healthy communities. NFC delivers an integrated wellness initiative, centered on the world's best outdoor gym: The Fitness Court®. The Campaign is planning its 500th Healthy Community, uniting the country's largest public-private partnership in support of wellness with the goal of building a Fitness Court within a 10-minute bike ride of every American. Follow us on social media @NatFitCampaign and #Fitnesscourt.

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