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The Positive Benefits of the Great Outdoors

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Monday,

Spring has officially begun and the warmer weather is here to stay. Sometimes we need a simple reminder of why it is both physically and mentally healthy to spend time outdoors, especially during this time of the year! My blog discusses the positive benefits of taking time to ourselves each day and enjoying the great outdoors

According to the Appalachian Trails blog, getting outside has multiple health benefits that will improve your everyday life. First, more time spent outsides means increased Vitamin D. Those who do not get enough Vitamin D have an increased chance of developing osteoporosis, some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the positive effects of getting enough daily sunlight can help with the prevention of diabetes, auto immune disorders, and heart disease! Another obvious benefit is exercise! It is hard to get outside without exercising, and exercise can help prevent or improve heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis and more health disorders. Additionally, exercising outdoors has benefits over indoor gyms; people who run outside exert more energy than those on treadmills or elliptical! Take a small walk during the day or find a local park to explore the nature surroundings, the options are limitless. Time outdoors also has psychological benefits! Spending time outdoors has been linked to improved attention spans and shows increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability, and love! The benefits of being outside is truly endless. For another source, Health Magazine provides further benefits of being in the outdoors. Make sure to share this information with your department and community to encourage people to lead healthier and less-stressful lives outdoors.  

Remember the Recre8’s 5k registration is up and running (no pun intended)! The race will take place on Saturday, April 16, at 12 locations across North Carolina. NCRPA is challenging your department to get actively involved and find a location near you to participate! Even if you department is not directly hosting, the race is still important for you to be involved in one way or another. The NC Recre8 5k is helping promote parks and recreation on a statewide level, and the funds raised will support the advancement of recreation in our state. So please help increase awareness and become involved simply by participating on April 16th! Create a running team within your department and make it a day to remember. Click the following link for more information and select a race location by you:

If you would like to share your ideas and suggestions involving spending more time outdoors or the NC Recre8 5k please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (,


Tags:  Get Outdoors  Healthy Living  Wellness 

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