FITNESS PLAYGROUND

The gym is looking up-dated, like an adult playground w/ropes and ladders.

There’s a space at the gym that has no machines, but plenty of fitness is happening there. I have heard people call them paleo or playground corners — places in the gym that have carpet like artificial grass with ladder-looking designs stretching the whole length of the space. There are heavy ropes, sand-bags, and ramps. On my way to the locker room, or to one of the teaching studios, I see people working out there — often with personal trainers, who exercise alongside their clients. They go back and forth on the ladder designs, adding lunges and lifts and balances when the clients are ready. One trainer invited me to join him and his client in a ladder-set.

There are still machines at the gym, of course — treadmills, stair-steppers, elliptical striders, stationary bikes. And they stay busy, too. But it is fun to watch people shaking huge, heavy ropes or tossing sandbags. I have read of non-motorized fitness center structures for climbing — stairs, rope walls, poles — and adult-sized jungle gyms for pushing, pulling, and suspending.

Some of these workout spaces are coming to open air parks and recreation centers, too — if I could find one, I think I’d try it. Being outdoors would add fresh air and sunshine to the benefits of the work out. More moving has to be good for fitness and for fun.