This Saturday, June 13th 2020, is the National Recreation and Park Association's Family Health and Fitness Day. This day was created to promote the importance of parks and recreation in keeping communities healthy. Did you know:
- According to a recent poll by the NRPA, 83% of adults agree that visiting parks, trails and open spaces is essential for their mental and physical health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Nearly three in five adults say that access to park and recreation amenities are very or extremely essential to their mental and physical health.
- Living close to parks and other recreation facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth.
- Parks provide a connection to nature, which studies demonstrate relieves stress, tightens interpersonal relationships and improves mental health.
- On average, children who live in greener environments weigh less than children who live in less green areas.
- Between 2000 and 2012, more than 85 studies have been published that link parks to better physical and mental health.
- According to a recent article in Yale Environment 360 – Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health – a growing body of research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress and promoting healing. Now, policymakers, employers, and healthcare providers are increasingly considering the human need for nature in how they plan and operate.
This Saturday we encourage you to take your family outside and enjoy the parks and recreation your community has to offer. Just be sure to be mindful of physical distancing guidelines and guidance from your state and local government and public health officials. A few ideas would be:
- Play on a playground at a local park with your kids
- Go for a hike
- Go on a family bike ride
- Set up a scavenger hunt with your neighborhood where each house hides something from the list in their yard then families go for a walk and search for the items and take pictures of what they find
- Go on a Nature Scavenger hunt (here is a free printable here)
- Set up an obstacle course in your backyard and see who can complete it the fastest. You can also virtually challenge family and friends.
For more ideas you can visit NRPA.org