These events encourage community members to consider:
Creating safe, friendly routes for biking and walking
Building a sense of community or school spirit
Inspiring families to walk and bike to school more often
There are lots of ways to get involved year round. You can start simply by encouraging students to walk or bike to school, then spread the word and build into a larger community-wide initiative. You can also plan and register a local event, see schools walking and biking in your community, and find support materials.
Children deserve safe places to walk and bike—starting with the trip to school. That’s why the National Centers for Safe Routes to School also partners with Vision Zero for Youth to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Vision Zero provides additional opportunities for advocates to tap into a broader initiative that city leaders have publicly and officially committed to. Encouraging your city officials to join Vision Zero for Youth can bring more visibility and possibly additional funding, improvements, or actions that benefit Safe Routes to School.
Plan and register a local event, see schools walking and biking in your community, find support materials, and learn more about this movement.
PIERRE, SD – 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.
Sign up as a participating provider in March and get a t-shirt, notebook, and water bottle from South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks!
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.
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.
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:
Walking works. 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 AmericansGoal: 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!
With all the great places to be active in South Dakota, you may have a hard time narrowing down the choices. Fortunately, the SD Department of Health, SDSU Extension, and the SD Game, Fish & Parks teamed up to create a couple of handy lists that show some of the different activities offered in South Dakota State Parks.
Group activities: disc golf, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball
Low impact activities: walking, geo-cacheing, swimming, and lawn games
Trail activities: walking, running, hiking, biking, and archery
Water activities: swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding
Winter activities: snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, and hiking
Physical activity has immediate health benefits and the best part is—any activity counts! That’s right, even small amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity can:
Improve quality of sleep
Help maintain bone density
Walking for just a few minutes a day is the perfect way to start exploring all the great places in our beautiful state parks. So, grab the kids, a friend, load up a pet, and take a walk in one of our great state parks—better yet, find an activity and invite the whole gang!
South Dakota – it’s time to walk! Walking is one of the easiest ways to increase physical activity levels. The Surgeon General wants walking to become a national priority and we are following in those footsteps by encouraging everyone to walk: walk more, walk often, walk with friends, walk about 20 minutes, walk at work, walk with your kids or grandkids, walk a cat or a dog… just walk! Why walk 20 minutes?
Walking is the single most recommended form of exercise and we know that when you walk with someone you are more likely to form a new habit. And, because there are so many ways to walk – fast or slow, up a hill, down a sidewalk, on a path, at the mall, in the hall, or off on a trail – and so many levels of intensity, it’s easy to tailor a walking habit that fits your personal physical activity goals.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week, and children get at least 60 minutes per day.
Now–that might seem like a big number, but when you break it down–it’s just slightly more than 20 minutes per day. You can do 20 minutes–right?
Let’s get moving South Dakota! Grab a friend, a co-worker, a kid, a cat… and let’s move the needle: only one half of adults nationwide meet the Physical Activity Guidelines–we can do better.
More places to walk!
South Dakota is full of best kept secrets and tons of fun place to explore. Check out these links for a few ideas on how & where to be more active:
Did you know that walking is the #1 physical activity of choice for South Dakotans? We walk for fun. We walk for exercise. We walk for transportation, and we walk to connect – with each other and with our environment. This toolkit is for anyone who wants to walk more and inspire others in their community to Get Movin’!
Learn what walkability is, why it matters and how to create more access to walkable areas. Learn the basics of starting a walking program and find lots of resources to help make walking easy and fun for everyone.
We’re challenging all community leaders, health champions, wellness directors, worksite wellness coordinators, healthcare providers and walking enthusiasts to download, read up and… Walk! Walk! Walk!
At 53.7%, South Dakotans recently surpassed the National median (50.6%) when it comes to meeting recommended physical activity guidelines for aerobic exercise. However, we still rank lower than many of our surrounding states. Studies have shown that 71% of “inactive” South Dakotans are either overweight or obese, putting them at significant health risk. In November 2014, Healthy South Dakota commissioned a statewide telephone survey, the purpose of which was to provide information about “inactive” South Dakotans and in so doing, discover why it is that they are inactive, what types of physical activity they would be most likely to do repeatedly, and what it would take to persuade/motivate them to do so.
The Surgeon General recently released a Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities, and the South Dakota State Plan for Nutrition and Physical Activity 2015-2020 goals include the adoption of healthy community design principals and access to places and spaces to be physically active. The Physical Activity Phone Survey Highlights offers some insights into what our top priorities should be.