Nature prescribed Park Rx America



Nature prescribed! Do you know that nature, and time spent in it, is great medicine for many chronic health problems? Would you like to lower your blood pressure or experience less stress?
Monte Vista is dedicated to improving the lives and health of the community and is now offering Park Rx America. This nationwide program, in collaboration with your health care provider, health educator or behavioral health clinician, helps make outdoor time a health priority for everyone. These providers are trained to use the Park Rx America system to provide prescriptions for nature and outdoor activities.
Why is Nature healthy for us? The American Heart association says, “Physical activity not only helps control high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension), it also helps you manage your weight, strengthen your heart and lower your stress level” Just minutes outdoors can reduce elevated blood pressure, reduce high cortisol levels that are associated with stress and improve depression. And there are more benefits as well! Even children benefit. The American Psychiatric Association notes “Increasing evidence demonstrates the many benefits of nature on children’s psychological and physical well-being, including reduced stress, greater physical health, more creativity and improved concentration.” Indeed, time outdoors, relaxing or exercising, is great medicine for the whole family.
During the last year Monte Vista Public Works Director, Robert Vance has placed local parks and trails into the Park Rx America system. Now, your health care provider can write a prescription for outdoor time and send it directly to your email or phone, complete with map of the park or trail! They can even send you reminders to spend time outdoors. Thank you Rob and the City of Monte Vista for this great opportunity!
For more information about Park Rx America and the benefits of time outdoors go to parkrxamerica.org. Better yet, ask your health provider for a prescription for nature from Park Rx America.
Cathy McCurdy
San Luis Valley

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