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Winston-Salem opens new outdoor fitness park

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- Residents and visitors to Winston-Salem now have a new place to play, gather and exercise, thanks to the new AARP Sponsored Outdoor Fitness Park Organized by FitLot opening in Miller Park on Queen Street.

Winston-Salem’s Adult Recreation Program Supervisor Chuck Vestal explains. “The outdoor fitness park features equipment for 22 possible exercises. There are also hooks for adjustable resistance bands, making the stations suitable for even more exercises for novices to serious athletes. The park is also ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible.”

AARP North Carolina Associate State Director Mark Hensley said, “Repurposing our open spaces to make them usable for people of all ages, is part of what makes this community great. The park now will not only attract more users, it will also be a place where people can stay healthy and get out and socialize. We hope Miller Park can help curb social isolation that has a severe impact on our health.”

As part of AARP’s donation, the FitLot comes with three years of funding for regularly scheduled free classes led by fitness instructors for anyone who wants to learn how to use the equipment safely and effectively.

“It’s not just about putting in the new pieces of equipment. It’s about continuing to build Miller Park community around it, an important aspect of making this area a better place to work and live. We hope this park spurs even more investment in the neighborhood,” Hensley said.

Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have an existing relationship with the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. Working for designation as a World Health Organization “Age-Friendly Community,” the AARP Sponsored Outdoor Fitness Park Organized by FitLot, is one result of a collaboration working on improved transportation options, walkability, and access to health care and opportunities to stay civically and socially engaged.

Winston-Salem resident Anne Jenkins is eager to start exercising and taking classes. She said, “Millar Park is now a gym without walls. This equipment is a wonderful addition to the bocce and petanque courts as well as the horseshoe pits.”

As far as starting any new exercise program, AARP has some advice. Consult with your doctor prior to beginning any new exercise regimen. AARP also has tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on visiting an open recreational facility:

  • Bring sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to wipe down the equipment before and after you use it;
  • Keep your distance (6 feet) from anyone who is not in your household;
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use sanitizer after using the equipment, going to the bathroom and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • And stay home if you are sick with, tested positive for COVID-19, or were recently (within 14 days) exposed to COVID-19.
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For a list of open AARP Sponsored Outdoor Fitness Parks, visit:

Find Your FitLot


    As part of AARP’s 60th-anniversary commemoration in 2020, AARP constructed fitness parks in every state, as well as Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AARP is collaborating with FitLot, a New Orleans–based nonprofit, to create the parks. More on AARP Livable Communities

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