Playgrounds and Treadmills

Today’s post is inspired by a couple of articles I read in the Wall Street Journal.

Are Playgrounds Too Safe?  It’s an interesting look at how playground equipment has become too safe thus boring for kids.  It doesn’t challenge their need to take risks and test the limits thus stunting the desire to get outside and play and experience physical activity.

A new playground in Boston includes a zip-line, a rock climbing structure, and a climbing net.  All designed to challenge kids’ physical fitness and build upper-body strength.

My experiences with school and park playgrounds involved lots of metal, woodchips, old tires, and rusty swings.  Classic playground moment was trying to copy my friends who were short, nimble, and flexible.  They could do twists, turns, and flips on the monkey bars.  Me…not so much.  I was always the tall kid.  Gymnastics are difficult for us.  But, not to be out-done, I tried all sorts of flips.  That ended with me on the ground and my mom having to rush to the playground to find out if I was ok.  I was also the kid who was on a first-name basis with the local ER staff–broken bones, a split forehead, stitches galore.

Next article is How Sick Do You Have to Be to Skip Going to the Gym?

I work hard to stay healthy and at least “control” those things that I can.  I’ve got hand sanitizer in my purse, car, work bag, and on my desk.  I wash my hands a lot.  If I feel a cold or virus coming on, I up my water and tea consumption and add in extra fruits and veggies.  But I still work out.  It takes a lot to knock me down.  An illness day might mean a light yoga workout.  There are two friends of mine who really don’t let me rest so I may get outside for a walk.

The WSJ article covers the basics that it’s still OK to work out if you’re not feeling 100%–just lower your expectations and exertion level.  If you have a fever – skip the gym/workout.  If your symptoms are below the neck, skip it.  And avoid group exercise classes – do you really want to be the person sneezing and coughing on the person in front of you at Zumba?  (Side note – I wipe down the Spin bike before and after class.)

As always, check with your doctor and take care of yourself.

What was your favorite piece of playground equipment?  What are your ideas for equipment/experiences that should be at new playgrounds?

Tips for staying healthy?  Do you work out when you’re sick?


Friday Roundup

Happy Friday.  Another Friday the 13th.

You may have noticed I like facts and figures so here are a few related to Friday the 13th:

Hospitals and hotels rarely have a room #13. 

Many cities do not have a 13th Street or 13th Avenue.

Many airports skip having a Gate 13 and airplanes do not have a Row 13.

The Dane County Regional Airport does have a Gate 13 (Source).

In Florence, Italy, the house address between number 12 and 14 has the address “12 1/2”.


In other news, it’s Summer so that means festivals, state fairs, and eating competitions.  Have you heard of cheese curds?

It’s small pieces of cheese that, when fresh, squeak when you eat them.  A better description from this week’s Wall Street Journal:

Cheese curds are essentially morsels of cheddar or other cheeses that are removed from the cheese-making process before they are pressed. They can range in size from a lima bean to a carrot stick and have a rubbery consistency, causing a squeaking sensation on the teeth when chewed fresh from the factory. Throughout Wisconsin, they can be found in plastic bags next to gas-station checkouts—usually plain, but sometimes spiced with garlic, ranch flavoring or hickory bacon. They also come deep-fried at many bars and restaurants—and are often washed down with beer.

You can read all about the Ellsworth, Wisconsin, Cheese Curd Festival and the story of the curd eating contest.  Leave no crumbs behind!

And finally, I wanted to share a video that Amy featured on her blog Second City Randomness.

I think I’ve found a new mantra.