Seniors With The Best Bodies In Britain

Do you remember the good old playground days? The swings, the slides, the seesaw -- and who can forget the monkey bars? They gave us endless hours of fun.

But are they just the good OLD days? Who says they are over?

The shrieks and shouts that emanate from an outdoor playground in northern England are not coming from the kids, but from a group of sprightly seniors.

Watch "Good Morning America" Tuesday to learn more about playgrounds for seniors.

Thanks to a German scheme, the grandmas and grandpas can get physical on a playground that is specially designed for them. It cost $30,000 and the seniors pushed to have it built. And they love it.

We've all heard the expression "no pain no gain," but for these seniors it's more about gentle exercises that work out the trouble areas, like the hips and legs.

And what is their workout circuit like? Six pieces of equipment that are all simple to use and designed to gently exercise different parts of the body. They also have different names.

For instance, the "massage" exercises the upper body, the "skate" trains the leg muscles, "ski" strengthens the hips and the "press" tones the stomach and legs. There are also stations for pull-ups, push-ups and pedaling.

Grace Choularton, 79, uses one of the machines to relieve the stress

''You squeeze, count to three, if you can count to three that is, and squeeze. It takes all the tension out of your back.''

She tells ABC News that the playground ''was badly needed, we are nearly in our second childhood so we might as well get one of our own. You come on feeling 90 and then you go off feeling 21.''

Jane Barcoe from the group Age Concern says the idea is to get the elderly out and encourage them to exercise and socialize. Speaking to the BBC she says that ''exercising is more important for older people. We are keen to get people out of their houses, get involved with other people so they are socializing and they are not isolated.''

Joan FitzGerald, 76, told ABC News that ''a lot of people stay in doors and they don't come out very much and they come down here and they start laughing. They exchange ideas and recipes and the rest of it.''

They all agree on one thing: the playground makes them laugh. Joan says ''it makes you feel good. When you are outside in the open air, as I said, the first thing you start doing when you get on the thing you start laughing because it's funny."

As Dorothy Le Moignan, 67, works out on the ''press'' she tells ABC News that the playground is a lot of fun and a ''laugh,'' which "is the best medicine.''

There's only one rule on this playground: The older the better!

Joan tells ABC News that she is ''a great believer in what Oscar Wilde said -- you are never too old to play.''

They are the oldest kids in town and they don't mind what they look like on the playground. ''I don't care if it makes us look silly,'' says 69-year-old Pam Angelucci, ''I still do it.''

And don't let these swinging over-60's fool you -- working out is making them much stronger than they look!

They can now say goodbye to aches and pain and hello to fitness and fun.

For more information about how to get these playgrounds in your area, go to Playworld Systems

Corporate Office, Playworld Systems, Inc., 1000 Buffalo Road, Lewisburg, PA 17837-9795, USA


1-800-233-8404 (toll free)


Fax: +1-570-522-3030