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Why Your Park Is Your Partner in Health and Wellness

Chances are you’re like every other parent or caregiver who is constantly looking for something fun to keep your children (and yourself) active and entertained. The good news is there are countless health-focused activities waiting for the entire family — four-legged family members included. Many are available for free or at a low cost at your local park or recreation center.

In fact, the next time you’re looking for something to do, we encourage you to try one of these family-friendly activities:

1. Take a walk 

75 percent of park and recreation agencies provide walking trails where you can explore the outdoors with your family.

2. Go for a swim

69 percent of park and recreation agencies provide areas to swim, including indoor and outdoor facilities and water slides.   

3. Enroll in a fitness program

78 percent of park and recreation agencies offer fitness classes, including classes for special needs youth and older adults. 

4. Create your own exercise routine

Most park and recreation agencies offer space to exercise, including indoor and outdoor fitness equipment and trainers to help you get started. 

5. Play outside 

92 percent of agencies have playgrounds and most agencies have sports fields, basketball courts and dog parks, too.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Many agencies offer organized sports activities — including golf, martial arts and aquatics — that appeal to people’s competitive side. So the next time someone wants to challenge grandma to a game of pickleball, look no further than your local park or recreation center where there’s something for people of all abilities. 

Lastly, while physical activity is an important piece of healthy living, there are other aspects of living a healthy life that a park can help you with. For example, nearly 80 percent of agencies nationwide offer health and wellness education. This includes programs that focus on diet and nutrition and evidence-based intervention programs that help older adults combat arthritis.

Ready to discover these benefits? Visit your local park or recreation center where you’ll find new ways to get active and healthy together. 

Heather R. Williams, Senior Manager of Public Relation, National Recreation and Park Association, [email protected]

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