When it comes to getting exercise, I think we all know that it can be a bit easier said than done.
In my experience, it’s easy to commit to it on paper, and a lot more challenging to make the major lifestyle shift to actually hitting the gym or picking up running.
Personally, I’ve always felt like the biggest roadblock isn’t just forming a new habit, it’s finding an exercise system that’s fun and entertaining and doesn’t put too much strain on your body.
Fortunately, lots of other folks have had the same thought, and there are lots of nice, gentle workouts that keep your brain occupied, too, like these easy and relaxing yoga poses.
Even better, a handful of creative thinkers have been pushing the idea still further, creating clever, entertaining exercise equipment perfectly attuned to the specific needs of older people, but with a twist that most of us might remember from back in our grade school days.
They’re playgrounds, just like the ones kids play on, but specifically designed with older people in mind!
If your community had a “grown-up playground,” would you use it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Though exercise targeted at older people isn’t a new idea, this specific type of equipment is the brainchild of Greenfields Outdoor Fitness.
The company has been creating wellness products for about 10years, with a particular focus on fun, interactive equipment that can be used by people at all fitness levels.
Unlike gyms, which can be intimidating and very expensive, this equipment is set up in easily accessible outdoor spaces like parks and public plazas.
The same way that playgrounds are readily available to kids of all ages, these interactive outdoor centers are open and available for adults looking for a workout.
The specific idea behind most of the equipment is to gain fitness by working against one’s own body mass, the same way you do on a swing.
Essentially, instead of using weights or traditional exercise equipment, you pit yourself against the weight of your own body, using one of their dozens of clever machines.
The other notable difference between these machines and the more traditional gym experience is that they are designed to be social.
Many of the machines are designed for partners and groups, making them ideal for people who’d like to socialize while they exercise, and for friend groups who make their group activities fitness-oriented.
For older adults, these distinctions are especially important.
Studies have proven time and again that regular, gentle exercise demonstrably boosts quality of life for older adults, from providing simple fitness to helping to stave off Alzheimer’s.
Older people who feel isolated by retirement or ill healthmay particularly benefit from stopping by these exercise playgrounds.
That’s because, in addition to exercise benefits, the social aspect and time spent outside are inestimably important mood boosters that provide recreationand tangible health benefits.
These machines are also specifically designed to be usable for people at all skill levels, and to essentially self-maintain regardless of weather conditions.
The same way that playgrounds are a free and simple way for kids to play outside, these fitness centers are accessible and free to all.
This can make a huge difference for people who may not want to commit financially to a gym, and to veterans and retirees who may be living on a fixed income.
Even better, Greenfields recently noted a lack in the services that their equipment provides, and sought to fix it.
Now, they also create accessible equipmentdesigned for people who use wheelchairs or who have limited mobility.
For people who, by necessity, must exercise differently, and exercise different parts of the body, this equipment is a tremendous boon that allows fitness to truly be available to anyone who wants it.
If youthinkathletic centers should be nonjudgmental, social, andfree to everyone,be sure toSHARE!
Originally found athttp://littlethings.com/