Rec Center Workouts Like Being Outside—But Brighter

The Central Park recreation center has been a big success. It includes a fantastic indoor pool, modern exercise equipment, a day care facility, and a tremendous basketball court. One of the many benefits of using the cardio equipment at the rec center is the great view. Large windows allow you to see over Westerly Creek, the old control tower, and a pretty nice view of the mountains on clear days. There is one drawback to the amount of natural light coming in, however. “Sometimes when I am running on the treadmill, I am blinded,” says rec center member Brian Meeter. “If you go on a sunny day, the light is almost unbearable. I literally started wearing sunglasses, and I am not the only one.” The rec center did not tint the windows, and in fact, added a quality that enhances light coming in believing this would be a benefit. In 46 other states it would have been, but in Colorado, there is no need to increase the amount of sunlight we see. “We designed it with the idea of keeping it bright, and filled with energy,” said architect Jeff Jones. “Sometimes people want the feel of being outside without actually being outside. This was the best way to keep people out of the cold and wind, but still feel like they were outdoors.” For some people, it is maybe a little too much like being outside. “I love the view, and don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the sunlight,” says rec center member Allison Riekse. “But I definitely worry about getting too much sun and my skin. I have absolutely worn sunscreen in there.” The rec center plans to add a couple things to help with the sun glare issue. “Right now, we don’t have it in the budget to tint the windows,” says Denver recreation manager Matt Hayes. “But we are adding a few things that will help our members.” The rec center plans to add sunscreen wipes and will also offer sunglasses that people can wear while they work out and then discard when they leave, similar to earphones on an airplane. ]]>

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