Park Rx: A Prescription for a Day in the Park!
You already know the health benefits associated with physical activity, but getting motivated can sometimes be challenging. That’s why the SD Department of Health, the Department of Game, Fish and Parks and healthcare professionals are teaming up to provide South Dakotans with a prescription for physical activity in any SD State Park.
Healthcare providers can now prescribe a free 1-day pass to any state park. This 1-day pass can also be turned in for a discounted annual pass.
The South Dakota Park Prescription Project aligns with the vision of the Exercise Is Medicine initiative. The goal is to make physical activity and exercise a standard part of global disease prevention and treatment. Park Rx is a great way to encourage physical activity for you and your family and friends.
Yes! Please send my provider information about the Park Prescription Project!
Exercise Is Medicine for Everyone
We’ve all heard that physical activity is good for us, but did you know that regular physical activity can improve muscular fitness, aid in prevention of falls, assist with weight management and improve cognitive function in older adults?
And, research has shown physical activity can effectively prevent certain chronic diseases and help treat or monitor others. It’s true! Here’s an example – if a person has been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, physical activity can be used to help manage it. If it runs in your family – regular physical activity can prevent it entirely! How cool is that!
If you or someone you love needs a little motivation, talk to your healthcare provider about a prescription for physical activity!
Exercise is Medicine for Kids Too
The number of health benefits associated with regular physical activity is practically endless, and yet many children and adolescents don’t get the recommended 60 minutes or more each day. The CDC and several partner organizations have developed the Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit, which offers strategies that schools, families, and communities can use to support youth physical activity.
If you’re ready to promote kids and physical activity – get the toolkit at CDC.gov
For a complete listing of South Dakota State Parks and to find the ones closest to you visit South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks.
For more information about exercise assessment and prescription, please visit ExerciseIsMedicine.org
To find out how to measure the level of physical activity that’s right for you, talk to your doctor and visit Health.gov
More Communities Encourage Breastfeeding-Friendly Businesses
Aberdeen has joined Brookings in their efforts to promote the Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Initiative. A team of advocates, supporters and community leaders in Aberdeen were inspired to follow suit to encourage local businesses to pledge their support to breastfeeding moms by creating breastfeeding-friendly environments for both customers and employees!
Mitchell, Hot Springs, Belle Fourche and Huron have also expressed interest in the initiative and are now canvassing businesses in their communities.
Brookings was selected by the South Dakota Department of Health as the pilot community for the Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Initiative with the goal of working with businesses to make breastfeeding in public a non-event and making pumping at work a non-event.
Breastfeeding provides many health benefits for both mom and baby, but it’s also good for business: breastfeeding mothers are more likely to patronize businesses where they feel comfortable, businesses with breastfeeding programs have higher employee retention rates, and breastfeeding moms also miss work less often and report higher work satisfaction and productivity.
Businesses can take the pledge to:
o Provide a welcoming environment where breastfeeding mothers are able to breastfeed in public spaces within the business.
o Encourage a welcoming attitude from staff, management, and to the fullest extent possible, other customers.
o Place the Breastfeeding Welcome Here window cling in each public entrance to the business establishment.
o Accommodate breastfeeding employees to allow appropriate time and space necessary to pump, to best of their ability.
Brookings businesses that have stepped up to become the first in the state to take the pledge include: 3M, Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Brookings County, Brookings Health System, Children’s Museum of South Dakota, City of Brookings, Hy-Vee, and South Dakota State University.
The Brookings Supports Breastfeeding team represents the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Brookings Health System, and South Dakota State University and are the primary partners in this initiative.
To find out more about the benefits of breastfeeding-friendly environments or to take the pledge, click here.
Why Walk 20 Minutes?
There are mountains of research, tons of studies, and endless reports stating Americans need to be more physically active. Of course, the truth is – most of us already know we should be more active – it can’t hurt right? But, it seems like everywhere you turn there’s different advice on how much exercise is the right amount. Which is why finding the right amount of physical activity, combining it with the right intensity level, and balancing that with the rest of a busy life can feel a tad overwhelming.
We do our best to keep up with the latest research and recommendations and here are some of the reasons adding about 20 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine makes sense to us and why we think it’s a good goal to start you on the path to better health:
1. South Dakotans Need More Physical Activity
According to South Dakota’s 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, only 18.4% of adults achieved the recommended level of both aerobic and muscle strengthening physical activity, and 25.8% of adults are getting NO physical activity outside of work. What’s even more concerning is that 72% of South Dakota youth (9-12 grade) does do not get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity. Bottom line, we all need to get more exercise.
We checked in with South Dakotans on the subject and here’s what we found:
When we think about adding exercise to our list, walking is the number one activity of choice, and the one we are most likely to engage in most often.
Walking is more fun with someone.
Friends, family, pets, or co-workers make walking (aka: exercising) easier, something we can look forward to, and something that we will do more regularly.
Walking covers a lot of bases.
No special equipment or membership required. You can walk fast, slow, up, down, in or out. No matter what your personal level of fitness, walking is something that almost everyone can add to their daily routine.
2. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Goal: 150 Minutes Per Week
The federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion works with a variety of federal and state agencies and keeps track of all kinds of data. Based on this data, they have recommended Americans increase the amount of physical activity we get. Specifically, for adults, they recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous intensity.
That might sound a little intimidating, but when you break it down… it’s really only about 20 minutes per day.
3. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities
Recently, the Surgeon General also weighed in on the need for more physical activity, pointing to the numerous health benefits of walking with a Call to Action to increase walking across the United States by calling for improved access to safe and convenient places to walk and wheelchair roll and by creating a culture that supports these activities for people of all ages and abilities. And, because walking is one of the easiest and most common forms of exercise, it only makes sense to make walking a national priority.
4. Take The First Step – About 20 Minutes At A Time
There are plenty of sources, reports and recommendations pointing to walking as an easy way to increase levels of physical activity. And most experts will agree that adding between 20 and 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine is a good place to start. The best part about walking for about 20 minutes a day is that it’s an attainable goal. It’s long enough to provide a number of benefits to your overall health, and short enough to fit into your regular routine.
So what are you waiting for? Take the first step, grab a friend, and take a walk! All you need is about 20 minutes! Walk, walk, walk!
Sources & Other Helpful References:
2013 South Dakota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Get Movin’! Infographic
South Dakota Physical Activity Study
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Promote Walking and Walkable Communities