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July 29, 2009

Recreation and Parks Month

The official purpose of National Recreation and Parks Month is to showcase and invite community participation in quality leisure activity for all segments of the population. In other words, it is a time for you and your family to get outside and enjoy the sunshine by visiting our nation's beautiful National and State Parks.

Whether it's the local picnic area a mile from home or the Yellowstone National Park, national parks are a vital asset to our country. They keep communities green and allow people to take a breath of fresh air in this fast paced world. Some national parks serve as habitat preservation for all different kinds of animal species. They also offer programs that can be healthier alternatives for children and families. We recognized this holiday in July - a perfect month to enjoy a picnic or go sightseeing in one of our national parks. National Recreation and Parks Month also recognizes the volunteers and employees who keep the parks running smoothly.

The US National Recreation and Parks website states that:

1. Active users of public parks have a lower body mass index.

2. People who visit parks for longer periods of time (one hour or more) have significantly lower systolic blood pressures.

3. Park users who are more physically active and who make frequent contact with friends during their leisure are less likely to report feeling depressed.

4. Citizens who have better access to parks, visit parks more frquently, and engage in physically active park behaviors also make fewer visits to their doctor.

5. Playing in parks also helps children build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, joints, and improves self-esteem.

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