PIERRE, SD, August, 2021 – South Dakota’s medical professionals are invited to participate in the FREE Park Rx program and prescribe exercise for their patients.
When participating providers prescribe exercise, their patients fill the prescription by visiting any South Dakota State Park and receive a free day in the park or a discounted annual pass.
Regular outdoor activity and exercise are proven to benefit both physical and mental health. We encourage all providers to sign up for the program and get all South Dakotans to take advantage of our many amazing state parks to work on wellness.
The program is being administered by the South Dakota Department of Health in partnership with South Dakota Game Fish & Parks and SDSU Extension.
Sign up for the Park Rx Program
It only takes a few minutes to get started by filling out the form below:
- If you’re a patient: The provider you list will be sent Park Rx information that encourages them to sign up.
- If you’re a healthcare provider: You’ll receive an information packet with Park Rx pads in the mail.
Submit a Park Rx Request
Spread the word!
- Talk to your friends and family and tell them how to get their own Park Rx.
- Download this flyer. Show it to your doctor or healthcare provider and ask if they are participating in the Park Rx project.
- Plan an event in your local community promoting physical activity in parks – involve your school, healthcare facilities, community members, and local businesses. Consider planning your event around National Park Rx Day.
- You have so many options to enjoy the outdoors in South Dakota! Discover all the ways you can fill your Park RX Prescription.
Exercise is medicine for everyone!
Regular physical activity can:
- improve muscular fitness
- aid in prevention of falls
- assist with weight management
- improve cognitive function in older adults
- prevent and help manage certain chronic diseases
Kids benefit, too!
Many children and adolescents don’t get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Besides building strong bones and muscles, regular physical activity also decreases the likelihood of developing obesity and risk factors for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Plus, exercise may give a boost in positive mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. If you’re ready to promote youth physical activity, download the Youth Physical Activity Recommendations fact sheet to get started.
Any regular physical activity is beneficial, but doing it while in a park is even better! Outdoor activity improves mental and physical well-being more than indoor activity and spending time in nature is associated with better cognitive development in schoolchildren.
Download the Park Rx infographic and share and display it everywhere for a little extra motivation.
The South Dakota Park Rx 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. Our goal is to increase assessment and prescription of physical activity. Park Rx is a great way to encourage physical activity for your patients.
- 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.
- ParkRx.org provides information about the national park prescription movement as well as the incredible physical, mental, and social benefits of exercise in nature.
- To find out more about the recommended levels of physical activity, talk with your doctor and visit Health.gov.