Playground or Health Club?

More and more I hear from patients that they do not really enjoy going to a health club to exercise, and that they would rather spend their time outdoors playing with their kids or exercising in the fresh air.  I often reply back that I understand where they are coming from and how much of a workout I get when my 4 year old wants to play tag and other various games outside.  I even find myself using some of the apparatus at our local playground to get in a few repetitions while my son runs around and plays.

It has even crossed my mind to start a program geared towards physical education for children and adults.  With the alarming increases in both the adult and childhood obesity rates among Americans, we should be looking for ways to make exercise or play time a part of our daily schedule.  Think back to the good old days where recess or play time was a normal part of our daily life.  That was the best part of our day.  With a program geared towards family fitness, a parent would be able to get their workout in and have some fun, all while setting a great example  for their kids and getting them to be more active as well.  To make it even better, no daycare worries.

In fact, I recently began to research potential venues for a program like this when a colleague of mine told me of an actual playground geared towards adults and physical fitness.   While this concept is very common in countries like China, these adult playgrounds are just beginning to become more accessible here in the U.S.  In fact, NYC has one such playground already with more expected on the way.  The concept is to provide a fun environment that promotes regular physical activity.

To see if any of these playgrounds are being planned for your community, check with your local parks and recreation office.  Otherwise you can grab your kids and head to their local playground for some fun and fitness together.  Tag… your it!

About keburns

Exercise Physiologist at The Princeton Longevity Center
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