Playgrounds for seniors has grown in popularity over the past 20 years. Historically, the concept of playgrounds for seniors first surfaced in China about 20 years ago when the Chinese government mandated fitness programs for all age groups. Since then, the idea of senior fitness playgrounds has grown throughout the world.
With a fixed income, seniors are unable to approach the gym fees to stay fit. An urban playground, particularly tailored for the elderly is a great way to use non-profit funds and fits the bill for their specific exercise needs. Not only so, but a playground specific to seniors is also designed to minimize physical risks for the elderly.
Typically, a senior playground has low-impact exercise equipment designed just for the senior age demographic. Low impact exercise equipment is designed to promote flexibility, balance and coordination. Though a senior playground does not have the type of swing sets you see in a child’s playground or even a set of monkey bars, there are modified swing sets and see-saws available to install for the elderly to enjoy.
Senior Fitness Equipment
There are many recommendations for equipment to be included in senior playground. Consider the following choices:
Stationary bikes - can improve endurance and heart health, lower blood pressure and stress levels and strengthen hip and leg muscles.
Recumbent bikes - good for cardiovascular fitness, to promote muscular strength and restore your range of motion.
Side-by-side striders – for strength and balance
Hand-eye dexterity games – good for eye-hand coordination
Face-to-face leg presses – strengthens leg muscles
Elliptical machines – for burning calories, improving balance as well as endurance.
Other things that add to a senior fitness playground would be:
Walk paths that include ramps and steps
Horse shoe game area
Board game tables (checkers, chess, backgammon, cards)
Additional activities for the elderly that incorporate exercise are:
Playgrounds for the elderly are also a great resource to combat isolation, loneliness, boredom, depression and lack of exercise, thus addressing both their physical and mental health.
Senior Playgrounds and The Family
Many cities have installed senior playgrounds adjoining children’s playgrounds. Sometimes known as multigenerational fitness parks. In this way you can take both mom and your children to the park. What a great way to enjoy an outing with the entire family. You could even plan a picnic with this activity.
Important to Note:
Be sure to get your doctor’s advice on what types of equipment he would recommend for you according to your present health status.
When attending a senior playground, be sure to bring plenty of water and a small nutritious snack (perhaps a bran muffin, grapes or some cut up watermelon.)
“Youth is a gift of nature but Age is a work of art.” Stanisław Jerzy Lec
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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