Monday November 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Fokianos Sports Center in central Athens gets second wind

Street Workout Athens offers a range of progressive exercise programs adjusted to individual needs.

By Youli Eptakoili

“I had gone for a run in the National Garden and I ended up at the old Fokianos Sports Center. I realized then that the place held great potential,” said Tonia Gounitsioti, an experienced personal trainer who helps to run and teaches at some of Athens’s largest gyms.

“When you exercise indoors there is no sky, no fresh air, no sunlight,” she added, which is why a year ago she decided to begin an outdoors exercise program, Street Workout Athens.

Such programs may be common elsewhere but this was a new initiative for Greece. Gounitsioti and Angeliki Gerolimou, a member of the national water polo team and an Olympic medalist, started the first outdoor gym on the premises of the Fokianos Sports Center, bringing a collection of apparatus to the space next to the open-air basketball and soccer courts. Now, they teach a variety of programs including yoga, Pilates, weightlifting and CrossFit to small groups, which, Gounitsioti says, offer a form of psychotherapy.

“It is hard to persuade people to change their routine and try exercising outdoors, but once they do they stick with it. The only way to keep up with the pace of city life is to adopt habits that make us happy. A city that tires us should offer a means of escape, a chance to look at the sky while exercising and to breathe clean air beneath the trees,” Gounitsioti says.

“We are lucky because the Athenian weather enables us to exercise outdoors for most of the year,” she says.

But why would someone pay to attend an outdoor gym when they can exercise in any park for free? “It’s true there are many beautiful parks in Athens, but we offer progressive exercise programs adjusted to individual needs,” Gounitsioti responds.

“And when we are not using it, our outdoor gym is open to the public for free. We want to emphasize that the Fokianos Sports Center is for all.”

Even though it is located in the most central and arguably the most beautiful location in Athens, the Fokianos Sports Center is not widely known among the public. A recent public survey found that most Athenians hadn’t heard of it.

It was established in the late 19th century by Ioannis Fokianos, one of Greece’s first sports teachers and an author of sports books who had a great influence on the Greek sports scene at the time. The center features gyms, offices, changing rooms, storage areas and an outdoor space covering a total area of 1,000 square meters.

Six months ago, the center’s board of directors, led by its president Panayiotis Angelopoulos, decided to launch renovations. The works are being overseen by Dimitris Stathopoulos and the results are already evident.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jul 3, 2014 (09:37)  
Decaying housing complex sits on Athens prime real estate
New citizenship law hinges on school education
Legislation bypasses wetland and forest of Schinias
Greek businesswoman named Manager of the Year 2014 by TUV Nord
New film, ‘Promakhos,’ makes case for return of Parthenon Marbles
Two lawyers fight for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum to Greece in a film produced by Greek-American brothers Coerte and John Voorhees, due to open at theaters on...
Interactive exhibition on seven dark years
At a first glance it looks like yet another exhibition on Greece's seven-year dictatorship. Yet more photographs from the Athens Polytechnic, the site of the 1973 student uprising, and poste...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek air traffic controllers say they will join Thursday´s general strike
2. ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems
3. Livestock breeders to protest in central Athens on Tuesday
4. Draghi urgency for ECB action gets final reality check
5. Greece to scrap need for permits in some 900 professions
6. Greek government sees Paris meeting as ´last phase´ in troika talks
more news
Today
This Week
1. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
2. Greek officials to meek troika chiefs in Paris to break review stalemate
3. EU said to plan 21 billion-euro risk-sharing fund for investment
4. Biden informs Anastasiades about content of talks with Erdogan
5. Countdown to missed opportunity for EU economy
6. Police seek to name man who opened fire with AK47 at Piraeus bar
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
6. Give Greece a chance
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.