Running around the track or going for a walk around town can be great exercise but it isn't very fun or exciting. Many adults like to exercise outdoors but feel that playground activities are no longer appropriate for their age.
Well, New York City has taken the first step in creating a fun, outdoor workout environment for adults. Kids that play on playgrounds get in a good deal of exercise by just having fun. Running around, doing the monkey bars, running up the stairs as fast as you can just to slide down the slid ... there are so many exercises that can be done on a playground without really having to think about it.
But the playgrounds in many local parks are a little too small for a 200-pound man to be exercising on. A park in the Bronx decided to create a playground for adults. It is located in Macombs Dam Park. This genius idea is already being used in China and some parts of Europe where outdoor physical activity is very popular. Unfortunately, many Americans would rather sit on the couch and watch TV than go outside to a playground and perform pullups on the monkey bars. That is the goal of this playground, to get people moving.
The obesity epidemic in this country is getting out of hand and we all need to try new things to get people exercising. This idea has become so popular that many cities and parks all over the country are now adding adult playgrounds and even some other fitness equipment. The creators of these playgrounds are trying to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer in many Americans by introducing exercise into their lives.
Besides introducing a more fun and exciting way of exercising, an adult playground has many other upsides to it. For starters, these playgrounds are much cheaper to build than a regular children’s playground. A superintendent of parks in Los Angeles says that he spends only $40,000 on an adult playground versus $300,000 spent on a child’s playground.
A lot of the pieces used in a children's playground are not used in the adult setting. Things such as slides, small rock climbing walls, tic-tac-toe boards, slides, and swings are not a part of an adult playground. Those are the pieces that can get pretty pricey. The adult playground is full of stationary equipment such as pull up bars, dip machines, and incline benches.
Many people think that to get in shape or lose weight that they need a ton of fancy fitness equipment or a gym membership. Both can get pretty expensive. One of the greatest things about the adult playground is that it is free and it's open to the public. Though you may not have all the equipment at the playground that you may find in the gym, you have all that you need for a full body workout.
Social support is another great benefit of an adult outdoor playground. If you have a buddy that wants to get in shape with you but can’t afford the gym you go to, it's much easier to meet up at the park and work out together on the playground. Many people have actually been using the playground as their friendly get together rather than sitting around drinking coffee.
It's great for parents with small children. Many of the adult playgrounds are purposely placed next to the children's playgrounds so that parents can get in a workout while their children are playing on the playground. Some playgrounds are even combined with an "adult" only area. The great thing about the New York playgrounds is because of the law against adults using playgrounds without small children. This gives the adults their own playground without getting in trouble for using the children's.
Some outdoor gyms are even getting cardio equipment such as ellipticals and stationary bikes. These playgrounds offer a great environment with fresh air, no TVs, and a beautiful scenery. You can't get any of that in a stuffy gym.
Another advancements is that some outdoor playgrounds are starting to use green energy. Want to have the ability to provide electricity to lights at a park or some local buildings? Try out a green energy gym. These outdoor gyms create energy by bikes or ellipticals. Not only will you be working out your own body but you can provide energy to buildings and the park. The coolest thing is seeing the lights at the park light up as your pedaling.
Adults of all ages and fitness levels can use these outdoor playgrounds. You don't have to be in perfect physical condition to workout at the playground. One of the greatest things is the friendly environment. Many people at the playground in the Bronx reported that strangers were helping other strangers out with some exercises and using some of the equipment. Unlike in the gym where young teens are paid to stand there and say hi to you, these playgrounds are full of genuinely nice people that want to help you get fit and healthy.
Now that it is summer, switch up your fitness routine and head to an adult fitness park. If there isn't one near you, use a children's playground to start. Hopefully this fitness trend will really take off and every town will invest in an adult playground.
Many adults need to start moving and exercising to fight the obesity epidemic. Everyone needs to get out more and a playground is perfect. Take a trip back to your childhood and burn calories while you're doing it.
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