Adult exercise structures needed
Inter-generational playgrounds coming to Aylmer?
Municipal playgrounds are for children, but since parents and adults often find themselves in the same spaces, at least one Aylmerite is hoping the city will embrace multi-generation playgrounds.
“I train regularly, and have visited many countries where public parks are not solely for children,” said Martine Mongrain, an Aylmer resident, who sees inter-generational parks working here.
Ms Mongrain admits she does not always feel welcome, working out at local parks. “Parks in some cities are designed for adults and seniors,” she noted. Equipping parks with fitness equipment would encourage seniors to use parks for exercise, easing their own isolation. Such equipment in local parks would encourage all adults to be more active.
According to StatsCanada, “about 5% of adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (working out) at least 30 minutes, (each of) five days a week.”
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend “adults aged 18-64 should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more.”
Katherine Janson, of ParticipACTION, also encourages adult fitness equipment in city parks. “We have encouraged parents and adults to get active in parks alongside their children, to be “sporty spectators” and do (such things as) laps around the arena at their children’s hockey games, etc.,” she told the Bulletin. “Outdoor fitness equipment is a great way for adults to get outside and active. You don’t have to go to the gym or be an athlete to be active. Finding ways to move more in your daily lives, as with your kids at the park, these count towards the 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity which adults need each week.”
Mike Duggan, Lucerne councillor and member of Gatineau’s leisure, sports and community life commission, agrees that adults should be part of the plan for city parks and playgrounds.
“When we design new parks, we don’t really consider the older population,” he told the Bulletin. “If we add more options to parks now, we will not need to redesign them later as the population ages. Usually parks and playgrounds are designed for children, aged 2 to 4; we need to balance this better.” Mr. Duggan said he will bring this up at coming commission meetings.
The commission’s next meeting is June 22, 7 pm, at City Hall in Hull.