New signage encourages Shady Acres Park users to participate in the statewide Healthy Parks Healthy Person program.
Healthy Parks Healthy Person is a free tool that lets users earn rewards at local parks while improving their health. The Gibson County Community Health Center’s Park Fitness Primary Prevention Initiative (PPI) is promoting the program, which allows Tennesseans to log their physical activities from any local, state or national park and earn points for rewards redeemable at any Tennessee state park.
Activities include walking, swimming, hiking, biking climbing, paddling, or playing a sport. Points buy real rewards such as Tennessee State Parks merchandise, rounds of golf, free camping, or cabin stays.
The new health-based program also includes a Park Prescription for healthcare providers to prescribe outdoor activity as part of a healthcare regimen for patients. Tennessee Department of Health officials encourage residents to talk to their healthcare providers about options for engaging in outdoor activities to further your health goals.
“Tennessee State Parks offer thousands of miles of walkways, trails and waterways for visitors to engage in healthy exercise at no cost,” said Brock Hill, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy commissioner of Parks and Conservation. “The Healthy Parks Healthy Person program offers additional incentive for residents to engage in healthy activities at any of Tennessee’s 56 state parks.”
To participate, you can visit app.healthyparkstn.com with your mobile device, where you can log your activities and collect points, There is no fee to use the Healthy Parks Healthy Person app as the program is free to Tennessee residents.
“We are excited to have a new way to encourage people in Tennessee to be active and enjoy our beautiful and award-winning Tennessee State Parks,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Our parks are wonderful restorative places for our bodies, minds, and souls. Go for a walk down a beautiful trail, paddle a creek, or enjoy any active fun in our great outdoors for great preventive medicine.”
Numerous public health organizations and studies have proven the benefits of outdoor exercise on mental and physical health. People tend to engage in more strenuous and varied exercise outdoors than they do inside.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, people have also reported significantly higher feelings of enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem when exercising outdoors in a natural setting. This program is another tool that Tennessee residents can utilize for motivations and to earn rewards in the progress.
To learn more about the Healthy Parks Healthy Person program, visit app.healthyparkstn.com or www.tnstateparks.com.