July is National Parks and Recreation Month! This year’s theme is “OUT is IN!”
Since 1985, the United States has officially recognized the importance of enjoying the outdoors, particularly in the local, regional, and national park systems. President Jimmy Carter signed into law the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 for “the preservation of our heritage… to improve the quality of the present by our dedication to preserving the past and conserving our historical and natural resources for our children and grandchildren. It honors those who helped to shape and develop this Nation; it acknowledges our need to receive strength and sustenance from natural beauty; and it addresses the pressing need to improve recreational opportunities in our urban areas” (Carter, 1978). Our government supports the outdoors. Do you?
Many benefits are in store for those who choose outdoor activities. According to Harvard Medical School, these benefits include an increase of vitamin D (which may help to prevent osteoporosis, cancer, depression, heart attacks, and stroke), increased physical activity (particularly in children), elevated mood, increased concentration, and speedier physical healing (Harvard Medical School, 2010).
Use your outdoor benefit package today! Go for a walk, eat a meal outdoors, take your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren to the park, play catch in the yard. The outdoors is free, available, and beneficial to all.
OUT is IN!
Jimmy Carter: “National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 Statement on Signing S. 791 Into Law. ,” November 10, 1978. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=30143.
Harvard Medical School. (2010, July). Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved from Harvard Medical School, Harvard University: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2010/July/a-prescription-for-better-health-go-alfresco?utm_source=mental&utm_medium=pressrelease&utm_campaign=health0710
NRPA. Retrieved from NRPA: July is Park & Recreation Month: http://www.nrpa.org/july/