Being active outdoors is not only good for your health – it can earn you Tennessee State Parks merchandise, golf rounds, free camping or even cabin stays thanks to a new program.
Tennessee State Parks and the Tennessee Department of Health have partnered to develop a web application called Healthy Parks Healthy Person, which allows Tennesseans to log their activities at Tennessee State Parks in exchange for points that can be redeemed for rewards. The program also includes a Park Prescription feature where healthcare providers can prescribe outdoor activity as part of a healthcare regimen for patients. Talk to your healthcare provider about your 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 Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill. “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 on your mobile device where you can log your activities and collect points for hiking, biking, running, swimming, paddling and rock climbing. Points can be earned at any park – including local, state and national parks – and redeemed at any Tennessee State Park. There is no fee to use the Healthy Parks Healthy Person app.
“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. People have also reported significantly higher feelings of enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem when exercising outdoors in a natural setting.
To date, nearly 1,000 people are using the Healthy Parks Healthy Person app. The app is web-based, with users saving the webpage as a favorite on their electronic devices to access the program.
Learn more about the Healthy Parks Healthy Person program in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gDnMohkWDY&feature=youtu.be. To get started, visit app.healthyparkstn.com or www.tnstateparks.com.