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Testing The First Adult Playgrounds?

Playgrounds are no longer just for kids. Now, free workout stations have popped up at city parks in an effort against obesity. The NY Parks Department has set up a bunch of outdoor playgrounds that have the look and feel of children's playgrounds. These, however, lack traditional children's equipment, instead including regular gym equipment and tracks.

According to a New York Times article, New York City introduced its first adult playground at Macombs Dam Park in the Bronx in 2012 and is planning to construct two dozen more in neighborhoods across the five boroughs by 2014.

"Let's face it, most of us dread going to the gym," said Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard Medical School professor who directs the Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital. "The point is to make physical activity fun, easy and accessible, so it's the normal thing to do."

This is not exactly a new concept. For nearly 20 years, China and Japan have had outdoor exercise areas and parts of Europe have them, too, for example the Hyde Park Senior Playground in London. Grown-up playgrounds are also an antidote to isolation. The best part: No gym club fees and intimidating toned bodies.

"Jim Sargen, a former technology executive who started TriActive America in California, which has supplied 470 adult sites since 2004, half in the past three years, said he discovered firsthand while traveling in Beijing in 2002 that exercise could be passed off as play. "My wife, who doesn't normally exercise, climbed onto one of the pieces," he recalled. "She said, 'It's kind of fun,' and an idea clicked."

For more on adult playgrounds read the Times article here.