Fitness Find or Fitness Flop? You Decide!

Adult Playground
Who says that playgrounds are only for kids? In an effort to improve activity levels in older adults, a “playground” geared to adults 60 and older opened on May 19 in London’s Hyde Park. The “Hyde Park Senior Playground” has six pieces of outdoor exercise equipment, including a stationary bicycle, a cross-trainer and a sit-up bench. A similar park, equipped with pull-up, push-up and pedaling stations, was built in Manchester, England, 2 years ago. That park cost about $22,600 (£15,000) and was built by a local residents’ association. “When we tested [the park], all the people we took in were over 70, and I have never heard so much laughing,” said Joan Fitzgerald, the association’s chairwoman. “I believe you are never too old to play, and this also helps keep you fit.”

The Hawaii Chair
Hula-Hoop enthusiasts take heart--it is now possible to get the same gyrational movements while sitting at your desk. The Hawaii Chair of infomercial fame promises users an opportunity to get fit while you work. According to the manufacturer’s website, the Hawaii Chair “combines the ancient art of the Hula of the Hawaiians with an easy-to-use, fun exercise machine.” Users’ hips gyrate as the seat rotates clockwise and counterclockwise at the desired speed. The website states, “The Hawaii Chair’s exercises strongly affect your waist, buttocks and thighs to thaw and loosen redundant fat. After using the Hawaii Chair, you will have a narrow and well-defined waist.”

The chair offers nine speeds and “is designed to do all the work for you, without strenuous exercising, for anyone who wants to achieve a good waistline and maintain a fit body.” Do the Hawaii Chair’s claims add up? You be the judge. To view the chair in action, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9_amg-Aos4. Send your comments to rhalvorson@ideafit.com.

Note: This column puts the power of deciding what and who are hot or not in the industry in your hands. The descriptions will also be compiled on the IDEA website at www.ideafit.com/fitness-finds-and-flops. Check back each month to see the running tally of products, people and initiatives.

At the end of the year, we will have a poll on our website for IDEA Fitness Journal readers to choose the top Fitness Find and Fitness Flop. We will then publicly announce our awards, showing the good judgment, advocacy and expertise of IDEA members!

We’d love to hear from you about your favorite finds and flops. Send all comments and nominations to Ryan Halvorson at rhalvorson@ideafit.com for consideration. Please do not expect a response.

For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.

June 2010

© 2010 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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