Here in the United States more people of the senior generation are starting to exercise by using the popular Wii video game platform. But over in London they are currently designing a special outdoor “playground” for those who wish to burn some calories, but also get some fresh air–& who are over 60 years old. You read that right — 60, not 6.
According to reports, the park will offer exercise equipment that is considered low impact that generally helps older people (we’ll let you define “older”) improve their flexibility & balance. It also can increase their muscle tone, something that for many seniors has not been a part of their life for many years.
Madeline Elsdon was quoted by the Associated Press, as the spokesperson for the resident’s association that won funding for the playground in the popular Hyde Park as saying, “Every park has a children’s playground, very few have playgrounds for adults, & none have playgrounds for the elderly.”
She explains, “We wanted something that would be of long-term benefit to people, so we came up with this idea for an older person’s playground.”
The Hyde Park playground which will be built in spring of 2010 will include six pieces of equipment, such as a stationary bicycle, a cross-trainer & a sit-up bench.
Who knows exactly where this will lead as far as trends, but as one who lives with a chronic illness, I can see a great advantage to have such equipment easily accessible, without any kind of fee, & actually outside rather than in a sweat smelling gym. According to the article by the Associated Press, in the United Kingdom, Manchester’s Dam Head Park put in an “over-60-years-old” playground two years ago. And it is often used, even when the temperatures are around the freezing level.
As I was recently looking for transportation options to medical appointments, I was disqualified from everything available simply because I was under the age of 60 years old. So my first question would be, “Will they enforce the age requirement?” because there are many people with chronic illness who may also benefit from the low impact equipment that is not always available at their local gym.
Fortunately, Westminster City Council, which gave 40,000 pounds ($60,000) to fund the project, explained that there would be assigned to identify the park as the “Hyde Park Senior Playground” but it would not be enforced; any age would be able to participate.
Imagine for a moment as a parent or a gr&parent with a chronic illness, telling a young child, “Go get ready! We are off to the park!” & actually be referring to your own outing, rather than one specifically geared towards the slides.
You can read the whole article by Associated Press here: London to Open First Exercise Area for Older People