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South Dakotans Urged to Be Outdoors: It's "National Park and Rec Month"

PHOTO: July is National Park and Recreation Month, an initiative designed to encourage people to spend more time taking in the fresh air and scenery of the great outdoors. Photo credit: Tommy Hough.
PHOTO: July is National Park and Recreation Month, an initiative designed to encourage people to spend more time taking in the fresh air and scenery of the great outdoors. Photo credit: Tommy Hough.
July 16, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - South Dakotans and others are being encouraged to head outdoors during 'National Park and Recreation Month' in July.

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

She added that no matter where one lives in Utah, there's plenty to do in the outdoors.

"Park and Recreation Month is a great time to get outdoors, 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.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD