LONDON — London's first "senior's playground" opened Wednesday in Hyde Park, after residents campaigned for more facilities to help older people get fit.
Organizers said people began lining up early in the morning to try the six low-impact fitness machines, which include a cross-trainer, a stationary bicycle and a sit-up bench.
"It was great seeing a large group of older people there, trying to outdo each other, even," said Mark Camley, the chief executive of the body managing the park. "As we get an increasingly older population, it's important to find ways to keep them active."
The playground is aimed at people over 60, although the gentle exercise also helps patients recovering from operations and injury. It's the first of its kind in London, and is modeled on similar play areas for the elderly in other European countries.
Frances Blois, a retired local government official, said the idea was to provide a friendly, free outside gym that won't intimidate older people and can allow them to socialize while toning their muscles. Slideshow: Facing the future: How celebs will age
"We need to have somewhere not intimidating," she said.
The facility allows people to join friends and get fresh air in relaxed and attractive surroundings, she said.
Westminster City Council, which gave $60,000 to fund the project, said a sign would identify the area as the "Hyde Park Senior Playground" but people of any age would be welcome to use it.
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