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Senior Playgrounds; Love The Idea – Not So Much The Name

Senior Playgrounds; Love The Idea – Not So Much The Name

There’s been a slow momentum building in the area of developing specific activities and exercises to help improve and maintain people’s health and lives as they age.

One of these new ideas is Seniors Playgrounds.

This concept initially started gaining ground in Asia and Europe and is now slowly starting to make it’s way into North American parks.

A typical Seniors Playground is usually an outdoor park that has equipment specifically designed to help seniors do exercises and activities that would help them maintain their daily physical mobility. Balance, coordination, strength training and cardio are the usual activities that are promoted.

An added bonus of these exercise parks is that they also serve as a social activity for Seniors as well. So along with all the benefits that exercise provides while you age, these parks provide the added bonus of staying socially connected which is also a critical requirement for positive aging.

I really like this idea.

I think that anything that helps people stay active and engaged in the community is a positive thing no matter what age you are.

My only complaint with this idea is that I really don’t like the name that’s it’s been tagged with – Seniors Playground.

I think the title Playground contributes to the idea of treating older people like children.  This strikes me as somewhat disrespectful and here’s why.

There was research that was conducted by Yale University that found that when people spoke to elders like children (sometimes referred to as “elderspeak”), this language portrayed a negative image of aging and actually reduced people’s lifespan by an average of 7.5 years.

By calling it Seniors Playground – are we possibly taking a good thing and giving it a bad name?

I think it would be much better if we just called them outdoor gyms or exercise parks rather then playgrounds.

I think this would be a much more respectable way to promote such a great idea.

Here’s an example of one Seniors Exercise Park;

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.