forget the gym, hit the playground!

  Happy New Year!

As many of us make promises to get into the gym and get fit this 2013, I want to give you some ideas to welcome fitness and healthy activity into your life without dealing with crowded gyms.   I know that my body is still a work in progress after having my son 14 months ago.  Looking at your body as a work in progress will help you to be more successful with your fitness goals this year!

So, forget the gym and hit the playground!  I love this for lots of reasons

  1. free -no membership

  2. do it alone or with friends

  3. provides an example of activity for healthy kids and families

  4. fun

  5. great for all fitness levels

There is a new movement of adult fitness rising in major cities; “it starts in the parks”, adult playgrounds.  To fight the growth and global epidemic problem of obesity major US cities are developing outdoor fitness areas to encourage more adults to get outside and be active.  Europe and China started designing parks for this purpose and have seen success in the health of park users.

Many of you may be familiar with a quarter mile track with various stationary fitness equipment.  You walk/run from station to station preforming the various exercises; chin up, push ups, crunches, and triceps dips.   New adult playgrounds have all the pieces in one place and the equipment is moveable.  They add moving cardio pieces and strength equipment.  It looks like a playground for kids but is designed and built for adults to use.  I think that you will see these new playgrounds being built throughout the country and replacing many of the stationary parks that we currently have.  If you live in a large city you are more likely to find them faster.  The cost is much less than a child’s playground.

No matter where you live, check your local parks and recreations website for a list of parks in your community and the amenities that they have.  If you read the article from the New York Times you will also see the power of moms!  They started a grass roots movement to get more funds to build an adult playground to help moms get back in shape after having a baby.  So, even if you don’t have a park, you could be that person to start a movement in your community to do more for your health.

Photos from New York Times

Here are two examples of parks that are in my area.


Recreation area in a residential and commercial parkway in St. Petersburg, FL.  (who wouldn’t want to walk with that handsome guy)


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