30/06/2021

A promenade, fields in bloom and lots of trees, in the heart of Milan. This special gym, with the background of the spine-tingling Portanuova skyline, is open 24/7. A corner to relax and stay fit. A place for a simple break but also for more hard-core workouts. From aerobic exercises, to meditation, to sports activities organized by BAM to perform together with your dog or even your baby, individually or in a group: we got you. As your lungs take in all the air they can, the green view relaxes the soul and your eyes can admire the sky-defying architectures. The home of this open-air gym is the BAM – Biblioteca degli Alberi Milano park, with its 90,000 m2 (just under 970,000 ft2) of greenery, 22 circular forests, the Giardino de Castilla of the Catella foundation, and the longest promenade in town crossing Via Melchiorre Gioia.

Portanuova for fitness.
The best sports to stay fit in the greenery.

Outdoor fitness
Outdoor exercising allows you to brush off all kinds of stress, boost your agility, and tone up those muscles, sweating out all that excess fat. The BAM fitness circle is an open-air gym with 7 pieces of gym equipment selected by expert trainers for varying exercise intensity. The modules allow a wide range of users of every age and athletic level to perform several fitness and training activities. They are laid out in a circle and designed for both resistance and strength exercises. For the “toughies” there are the pull-up bar and the arm curl machine, while medium-intensity equipment includes the rowing machine and the shoulder press machine. The stationary bike is within anyone’s reach, then there are the parallel bars and the twin wall bars for calisthenics lovers.

Running and fit walking
Running is an excellent solution to perform aerobic exercise outdoor wherever you are. It brings evident benefits at a cardiovascular and muscular level. Don’t call it “everyone’s sport”: it requires good physical preparation and consistent training to improve fatigue resistance. For less competitive souls, the green areas of the District are also an ideal setting for fit walking, a discipline whose main ingredients are up-tempo pace, tidy posture, and constant rhythm. It is growingly popular, even thanks to a reduced impact on the lower limbs compared to traditional running.

As with all other sports, we recommend a quick warm-up before the “start” and a few stretching exercises at the end of the session.

Calisthenics – Liquidambar Styraciflua circular forest @ BAM
The aim is written in its Greek name: improvement of appearance (kalòs = beautiful) and muscle strength (sthenos = strength). This bodyweight training method is designed to boost strength, elegance, and muscle tone. Inspired by artistic gymnastics, calisthenics involves the athlete’s own body mass as a natural “weight” to perform a large number of functional exercises, whose foundations are the squat, plank, push-ups, dips, and trunk/leg lifts. The energy required to keep the body balanced helps develop tone, strength, and coordination. It does not require specific equipment and can be performed anywhere, but for best results, the fixed bars and parallel bars like those of the Liquidambar circular forest (as well as the BAM Circle of Fitness) are just what you need! 

Yoga, breathwalking, and yoga dance
Breathing, concentration, and proprioception. Yoga improves spiritual and physical wellness,  at its best when performed outdoors as the ascetics do in India since the dawn of time.

Pick a green and calm area of the District, possibly close to a tree, and give life to the typical figures inspired by animals, constellations, and the flora, either alone or with other yogis. Masters say that the wind, scents, and light of nature intensify the yoga experience and help us harmonize our bodies with the surrounding world. Direct contact with the ground also soothes the body. Breathwalking, designed for beginners, combines the benefits of walking with those of yoga respiration. Yoga dance, on the other hand, combines yoga movements with the smoothness of dancing. Recommended moments of the day for yoga, breathwalking, and yoga dance are sunrise – to reawaken the body – and sunset – to relax and prepare to sleep – but even a simple session during the day may help us regain vitality without having to be early birds.

Every Friday morning the BAM offers a yoga lesson led by masters specialized in different disciplines – Hatha, Budokon, Yoga Pilates – and the option to take the lesson in English or German.

Check out the calendar on the dedicated page of the BAM website.

Dog-human fitness
A much-appreciated activity among visitors of the Portanuova outdoors, and a unique offer of BAM’s open-air cultural schedule. A “6-legged” training session dedicated to dogs and their owners and designed to improve not only their health, but even their relationship. The activity lasts about an hour, with a sequence of cardio and muscular workout exercises paired with a series of dog-owner games. Mind you, this is a true sport included among “cinotechnical” activities designed to actively encourage and promote the dog-human binomial in the name of playing, performance, and wellness.

The BAM schedule includes a day dedicated to this innovative activity every month. It is always free and open to all!

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Stretching
Just like yoga, even stretching stimulates self-awareness and proprioception. The open air with natural light and trees, is beneficial for the absorption of vitamin D, for the increase in endorphin production, and the circulation of oxygen in the blood, as well as the stimulation of serotonin. It does not require any equipment, so it may be performed by anyone, anywhere! Stretching exercises for our upper and lower body may also be practiced while walking or warming up to help us loosen and extend all our muscles.

Senior fitness
Functional training for all our over-65 friends helps them stay fit by performing bodyweight movements or exercises with small, specific tools. Senior fitness, also known as low-impact exercise, includes slow and natural movements designed to not stress the joints but at the same time boost muscle tone. For non-experts, we recommend taking lessons such as the ones offered free of charge by BAM every Monday morning.

A fitness cycle made-to-measure for over-65 visitors wishing to stay in shape. The weekly Monday morning sessions led by expert fitness trainers include a specific program focused on different parts of the body and muscle groups. Every session also includes basic physiotherapy techniques inspired by yoga, and ends with a short dynamic meditation routine.

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Tai chi chuan
A thousand-year-old discipline, the slow dance of tai chi was developed as a martial art and has proven benefits on tendon and muscle elasticity, posture, and even personal development.

Its movements mimic the search for harmony and balance of Yin and Yang. A constant practise of tai chi outdoors – as seen in the parks of major Far East cities – extends the breath, improves lung capacity, and – as proven by a research study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion – boosts psychophysical wellness, thus the quality of life of “students” with bone issues, with clear improvements in leg and hip mobility.

This is only one of many reasons why you should practice tai chi, no matter how old you are: it is a medicine for the body and soul.

MammaFit
A weekly training plan designed for new mothers to perform fitness activities next to their baby. Every lesson is developed for optimum post-delivery recovery, and includes specific exercises to involve and entertain both the children and their mothers, either rocking their strollers or moving with their baby wraps. The BAM way of improving the muscle tone and psychophysical wellness of mothers and, consequently, that of their babies.

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