Hiking along the Brandywine. (State of Delaware)

Del. ranks 8th among states for outdoor exercise

Ken MammarellaHealth, Headlines

Hiking along the Brandywine is a popular exercise. (State of Delaware)

Hiking along the Brandywine is a popular exercise. (State of Delaware)

Delaware is No. 8 on a new list of best states for outdoor exercise, a fitness website has concluded.

Total Shape measured 16 factors: national parks; weather; coastline; parks; temperature; boats and water sports facilities; beaches; sports camps and clinics; kayaking and canoeing attractions; ski and snowboarding facilities; surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing facilities; outdoor activities; hiking trails; biking trails; golf courses; and adrenaline and extreme sports facilities. Results were adjusted by state area.

In releasing the top 10 states, the site cited only Delaware’s surfing potential, not the growth in trails nor Rehoboth Beach’s status as “the nation’s summer capital. “

The list was dominated by states known for their attractive coasts, with Hawaii and California at the top. But the top 10 also included the landlocked Utah, Arizona and Colorado.

At the bottom was Alaska, known for a cold climate that discourages many from outdoor activities.

Lists like this are intended to generate barroom discussions and publicity for the sponsor, but their conclusions can fairly easily be countered.

Is exercise the same as adventurous?

For instance, Men’s Health in 2017 considered America’s most adventurous cities and and put Wilmington 96th out of 100.

The magazine and website measured these factors: percentage of people participating in various sports in the past 12 months (GfK MRI); percentage of people meeting activity guidelines, percentage of people who engage in vigorous activity five or more days a week (CDC); ratio of parkland to city size (The Trust for Public Land); recreational business counts percentage (U.S. Census Bureau); recreational household expenditure percentage, recreational Consumer Price Index (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Its number crunching was only for “the 100 most populous cities in America,” but that really refers to the metropolitan areas, which for Wilmington includes all of New Castle County, plus Cecil County in Maryland and Salem County in New Jersey.

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