Who says that playgrounds should be just for kids? London's Hyde Park area is set to open a new outdoor playground specifically geared toward older adults. The equipment will be designed to improve balance, flexibility and strength through low impact activities. Could you see a demand for something like this in your area?
The "Hyde Park Senior Playground" will target older adults but will be open to anyone who wants to use the equipment. It will have six stations, including a stationary bike and cross-trainer. Manchester's Dam Head Park (also in Britain) opened an over-60 playground two years ago. It's become a popular destination for seniors year-round. These types of facilities are already popular throughout Europe and Asia.
Regular exercise is important at any age. But exercise becomes more important as we age for a number of reasons. Physically active seniors are more likely to keep their independence, since balance, flexibility and overall health problems are less likely. Regular exercise also helps prevent muscle and bone loss as we get older.
In addition to the physical benefits of activity, many seniors enjoy the social connections they develop from exercising with others. Playgrounds could help provide those social connections and a way to improve health at the same time. They also offer a good alternative when joining a gym isn't an option for financial reasons or because they aren't a comfortable setting.
If you're a senior who's just starting to exercise, SparkPeople has a number of resources to get you started, including What You Need To Know About Exercise After 60 and the Senior Health Lifestyle Center.
Have you ever heard of playgrounds for older adults? Do you have any in your area? What do you think of the idea?
More From SparkPeople