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Missourians Urged To Be Outdoors: It’s “National Park and Rec. Month

Mona Shand

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missourians and others are being encouraged to venture beyond their homes and offices and head outdoors during “National Park and Recreation Month” in July.

Lauren Hoffman, director of marketing and communications at the National Recreation and Park Association, said her organization is challenging Americans to move an indoor activity, like a work meeting or family meal, outside each day in July.

She said no matter where one lives, there’s plenty to do outdoors.

“Park and Recreation Month is a great time to get outdoors,” Hoffman said. “Get inspired, and really get involved through your community parks and recreation. It’s all about getting outdoors and getting active.”

According to Hoffman, a recent study showed about 30 percent of Americans spend little time outside, and those who do limit it to about 30 minutes or less per day.

Hoffman said she hopes that promoting outdoor activity in July will help people develop a more active lifestyle year-round.

“There are various studies that are showing that parks and outdoor time can really help improve your mental health and reduce stress,” said Hoffman. “Parks and recreation really provide the opportunity to get out there and get physically active.”

Hoffman admitted a challenge to getting both young people and adults outdoors is that many are glued to smart phones and tablets.