How Seniors Can Benefit From Interactive Outdoor Play Equipment
Have you ever stopped to think about the potential benefits of playground equipment for seniors? Seniors spend a lot of time indoors, leaving them feeling disconnected from the world outside. Getting fresh air, exercising, and interacting with other seniors are all great ways to enhance seniors’ quality of life.
Fortunately, outdoor playground equipment provides seniors with plenty of opportunities to be engaged and active. This equipment allows seniors to exercise, socialize, and explore their surroundings for a refreshing change of pace. Here are some of the benefits that come from senior playground equipment:
Maintains Physical Fitness
Our bodies naturally become less resilient and more susceptible to disease as we age. Staying fit can help reduce these risks by keeping our muscles strong and our minds sharp. The interactive nature of playground equipment allows seniors to enjoy exercise without getting bored. Stationary bikes, walking tracks or ellipticals, or pools for water aerobics are great examples of popular senior playground equipment. This equipment can also help seniors stay in good physical shape, which contributes greatly to their overall health and well-being.
Seniors need to maintain muscle in their upper and lower bodies in order to stay independent and mobile. They can use light hand weights to build their arm strength, or outdoor ellipticals to build leg strength. Playing and climbing structures are great for building overall physical strength. Activities like hiking, biking, and swimming are also great full-body workouts. Staying active throughout retirement is a fantastic way to help prevent and alleviate other physical health problems.
Social interaction is an important aspect of a well-balanced life, especially for people who may feel lonely in assisted living facilities. A playground area can bring people together in a safe and inclusive environment. This also encourages seniors to interact with each other while they stay active. It is important for older people to continue developing social skills and relationships. Socialization and mental health are closely connected, and relationships with peers can help seniors navigate some of the hardships of aging and feeling socially disconnected.
Many assisted living facilities install interactive equipment such as outdoor gyms and interactive facilities. This gives residents a chance to socialize, get outside, and enjoy a great workout. If you are interested in improving your facility’s social environment through exercise, consider investing in some interactive outdoor play equipment.
Seniors are advised to exercise regularly in outdoor gyms or recreational spaces to improve their balance. For example, activities like walking on uneven surfaces like grass or sand, climbing stairs, practicing tai chi or yoga, can all help seniors improve their sense of balance. Adding hand weights or resistance bands to any of these activities can also be helpful.
Developing and maintaining core muscles is closely associated with improved balance. As people age, they begin to lose core muscle strength and endurance. Lack of muscle mass can make people prone to dangerous falls. An interactive play structure in a senior’s backyard or living facility helps to restore agility, flexibility, balance, and core strength. Regular use of core muscles can slow their deterioration in future years.
Improves Mental Health
Seniors who regularly engage in outdoor physical activities can reduce their personal risk of cognitive decline. Physical activity engages both sides of the brain, improving neural pathways. It can even help prevent or lessen symptoms of dementia. Outdoor playground equipment also naturally offers the benefits of sunshine and social interaction, both of which are positively associated with mental health.
Get Started with the Right Playground Equipment
Old age does not always prevent you from exercising outside. If you are a senior, consult with your doctor about appropriate exercises for you. Interactive outdoor play equipment should allow you to stay active without compromising your personal safety.
The playground equipment differs based on the preferences and needs of the seniors. A variety of playground equipment can encourage mobility and activity without risking boredom or injury. If you are looking for a way to improve your health and fitness levels, invest in quality interactive outdoor playground equipment.