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Americans Take Winter Fitness Seriously, Survey Finds

Source: National Recreation and Park Association

Walking, jogging, running and hiking outdoors among top three winter physical activities 

Ashburn, Va. (Jan. 4, 2017) — Keeping up with a regular fitness routine is tough, especially during the winter months. However, staying physically active year round is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall. According to a recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), a network of more than 52,000 park and recreation professionals and advocates, more and more people are taking the benefits of regular exercise seriously with four in five Americans making an effort to stay physically fit during winter.  

Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans ages 18+ polled prefer walking/jogging/running over any other winter physical activity. Other popular winter physical activities include using home fitness equipment or a personal fitness device (28 percent) and working out at a local gym or recreation center (25 percent). More than half (52 percent) of baby boomers prefer walking/jogging/running over other forms of winter physical activity.     

“While finding a way to stay active during winter is sometimes hard, there are many year-round opportunities that exist at local parks and recreation centers,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA President and CEO. “I encourage everyone to explore these options as there is something for everyone, including children, seniors and people with disabilities.”     

As leaders in health and wellness, 83 percent of park and recreation agencies offer fitness enhancement classes and 81percent of agencies offer health and wellness education opportunities. Through programs like Commit to HealthPark Prescriptions and Walk with Ease, park and recreation agencies are helping people of all ages improve their overall health. A list of success stories is available here.    

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit

About The National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 52,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication,Parks & Recreation, visit

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