Friday, February 12, 2010
Has the UK Baby Boomer Generation Found the Fountain of Youth?
Remember your childhood days when a trip to the playground was the highlight of your day? Swinging for hours on the swings and competing with your friends to see whose swing could go the highest, or spinning on the merry-go-round with eyes closed until you got dizzy and let’s not forget about the flips and tricks on the monkey bars. As kids you probably felt that if your whole life was spent at the playground life would be good. Well, fast-forward fifty to sixty years later and you could be reliving those playground memories again. While First Lady Michelle Obama launches her U.S. initiative to help reduce childhood obesity in America, yesterday our friends across the pond announced an initiative that hits the other end of the age spectrum, playgrounds for adults. London has just been renamed FUNdon for the aging baby boomer population who will have a special playground designed specifically for their needs in the popular Hyde Park. Although exercise areas for seniors are already popular in Europe and Asia, this is a first for England’s capital city. The outdoor facility will include low-impact exercise equipment to help users improve flexibility, balance and muscle tone. It’s a known fact that physical activity adds years to your life by not only strengthening the muscles, increasing bone density and improving cardiovascular health, but it also has psychological benefits. Physical fitness can become an uplifting and social activity which is part of what the organizers are hoping for. According to Michelle Mitchell of the British group Age Concern, "The playground could be a great way to encourage older people to exercise and socialize, many older people aren't exercising enough," she adds, explaining that physical activity with others their own age can help seniors struggling with loneliness and depression.
For these UK Baby Boomers, the new playgrounds are a path to longevity and overall well-being; they’re not ready to throw in the towel just yet. For them, it’s “time-out” for Father Time, these seniors are still in the game and it’s time to play!
For more, check out the full CBS news story: London to Open Playground for Seniors