Photo courtesy Portland Parks & Recreation
Parks just make people healthier. Exercising outside instead of in a gym increases levels of vitamin D, decreases stress and a general feeling of mental ease and revitalization. In a study of over 21,000 urbanites across many European countries, researchers found that access to green space and recreational areas greatly reduced socioeconomic health inequalities in neighboring communities, while financial services, transport, and cultural facilities had no similar effect. This fun Trust for Public Land video below outlines the top 8 ways that parks benefit our health.
Of the many reasons people site for not exercising, time and money are a few of the most quoted. Parks create places for people to recreate and exercise for free and close to home. Instead of stretching on a section of sidewalk or dancing Zumba in your neighbor’s front yard, parks provide us with a comfortable place to exercise together that is safe from traffic or other disturbances. We encourage you this summer to get out and join one of the FREE exercise classes in our parks or simply grab a friend and meet in your favorite park for some much needed exercise this summer. It will make your mind and body much happier.