Health and Wellness

Parks and Recreation: The Secret to a Long, Healthy Life?

Parks and recreation can be more intentional in its efforts to improve quality of life.

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Parks as a Solution to Climate Change

Climate change is impacting communities at the local level. Parks are the solution.

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Active People, Healthy Nation in Parks: Creating a More Active America, Together

A CDC initiative strives to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027.

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Protect the Health and Wellness of Your Park and Recreation Staff

NRPA staff members interview park and recreation agencies on the benefits of prioritizing employee health and wellness.

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Fostering Healthier Communities by Creating Soccer Play Spaces

Transforming small, underutilized areas into mini-soccer pitches, the U.S. Soccer Foundation is serving communities that lack large open spaces and funding to build full-sized fields.

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What Happens When Parks and Artists Partner to Advance Equity

Local groups in two communities were given financial and technical support to work with artists to change their approach to building and managing parks for their communities.

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Parks and Health Equity: An Avenue to Support Health and Wellness for All

There is an opportunity to be more thoughtful about the role parks can play in promoting health equity for all.

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Addressing Health Disparities in Rural America

Local park and recreation agencies are a critical component of promoting equitable health outcomes in any community, but they may fill an even larger role in rural areas.

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Farmers Markets

The opportunity to provide access to healthy, fresh and local fruits and vegetables in your community park.

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Engaging Children in the Park Planning Process

Given that children are key park users we must be creative in how we engage them in the planning process.

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10-Minute Walk Campaign: Celebrating Mayors and Cities Leading the Way

Read updates from the first 12 cities to participate in technical assistance for the 10-Minute Walk campaign and see why nearly 200 mayors have signed on to improving park access and quality in their cities.

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Pathways to Play

As the creators of park experiences, how can we better engage with children and families and encourage greater use when designing paths and trails? For the second year, NRPA and Disney issued that challenge to park and recreation agencies across the country.

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Promoting Physical Activity with Temporary Street Closures

The concept of “Play Streets” has emerged as a way to promote outdoor play and physical activity for children in neighborhoods without access to safe, well-maintained parks and playgrounds.

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Developing a Park Prescription Program for Your Community

Park Prescription or “Park Rx” programs are gaining in popularity and helping to motivate people to be active in our parks. These programs encourage physicians to “prescribe” physical activity in park settings to their patients.

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Healthy Detroit: Building a Culture of Primary Prevention

After reading through the Affordable Care Act, Nicholas Mukhtar created Healthy Detroit, dedicated to improving health equity in Detroit.

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Healthy Eating for Healthy Aging!

To combat food insecurity among older Americans, local park and recreation agencies across the country have been offering a range of older adult nutrition programs.

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The Culture of Health

Creative placemaking in parks for healthy communities.

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Improving Military Readiness Through Physical Activity

Physical activity provides many health and fitness benefits, such as improved body composition, aerobic and muscular fitness, balance and flexibility, which can contribute to military readiness.

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Health Equity: Leading Through Programs, Environmental Changes and Policies

NRPA is proud to announce that the winner of the 2017 RWJF Award for Health Equity is Patti Solano, superintendent of community services at the City of Riverside Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department (PRCSD).

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Creating Safe Routes to Parks

Measuring walking access to parks is a good starting point to link parks with public health goals.

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Community and Home Gardening Develop Lifelong Healthy Habits

Gardens can be used to foster a love and appreciation of nature. They can bridge connections to other cultures and provide opportunities for social engagement.

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Mobile Recreation Programs

In neighborhoods where activities for youth are lacking, mobile programs step in to fill a significant void.

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Empowering Older Adults to Age Out Loud!

Join us in celebrating Older Americans Month, and make the commitment to empower older adults through evidence-based programming for improved health and quality of life.

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The Health Benefits of Small Parks and Green Spaces

Small parks and green spaces are equally as important as large parks as public health solutions in urban communities.

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Celebrating Three Years of Healthy Out-of-School Time

Commit to Health is creating a healthier generation of youth through the implementation of the Healthy Eating Physical Activity standards.

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Go Healthy STL

Improving nutrition and fitness for low-income preschoolers in St. Louis.

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Working Together for a Healthier Wichita

Through partnerships and collaborations, the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita is working to ensure the entire community lives a healthy lifestyle.

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Setting the Table for a Successful Summer at South Burlington Recreation and Parks

South Burlington (Vermont) Recreation and Parks Department sees success in helping kids develop health eating habits using NRPA's Commit to Health program.

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Troops for Fitness Engages Military Veterans in Community Health and Wellness Programming

Some tips from park and recreation agencies that have successfully implemented Troops for Fitness programs.

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Super Summer Chefs

Grand Prairie, Texas, Parks, Arts and Recreation Department's Super Chef summer campers learned about the ingredients for a healthier lifestyle.

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Reducing Health Disparities in South Florida

Steven Marcus, Ed.D., is the recipient of the 2016 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for making measurable and sustainable differences in the health of South Florida residents.

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Serving Participants with Medical Needs

Medical advances combined with a broadened definition of disability under the 2008 ADAAA has opened up the possibility of a more active lifestyle for individuals with a wider variety of medical conditions.

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Returning Youth Sports to the Kids

What park and recreation professionals can do to help stem the sharp decline in the number of youths participating in sports.

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Commit to Health and Conservation: Seven Simple Activities

Seven easy programs to get youth and families outdoors this spring.

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Fracking on Parkland in Appalachia

How is fracking on or near public parklands impacting park usage?

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Communities Rallying for Health

What some Austin, Texas, communities are doing to combat high rates of obesity and diabetes.

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The Power of the Permit

Some background on the Aspen Institute’s Sport and Society Program and its Project Play initiative's recommendation to local governments to use the “Power of the Permit” to promote equitable, safe and enjoyable sports experiences for all youth, in every community.

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Benefits of an Active Pregnancy

Being physically active during pregnancy has many proven benefits for both baby and mom.

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Mind Over Disaster: Mentally Preparing for the Worst

Disaster preparedness doesn’t stop at taking care of the physical needs. Protecting your mental well-being and that of your agency patrons is also a major factor in how you “weather the storm.”

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Making Concessions for a Healthy Lifestyle

Not long ago, a healthy concession menu would have been considered an oxymoron; however, more and more park and recreation agencies are changing that perception.

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Parks and Recreation Help Step It Up!

Three of the Surgeon General’s Step It Up! walking initiative goals are particularly pertinent to the field of parks and recreation. What are the goals and how can we capitalize on this initiative?

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Creating a Healthier South Bronx

An unprecedented, multiyear project in the Motts Haven and Port Morris neighborhoods of the South Bronx will provide a measureable approach to demonstrating the effect of open space on quality of life.

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Future Trends in Health and Wellness

NRPA has been tracking four significant trends we believe will shape the future of health and wellness for parks and recreation. Learn what you need to do now to begin planning for the future needs of your communities. 

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Access to Sports Is Access to Health

 Youth sports serve as a venue to introduce a variety of healthy behaviors in youth — parks and recreation provides some of the most well-used and robust sports programs on offer today. 

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Safe Routes to Parks

When citizens have the resources to safely walk to parks, every trip taken by foot is an opportunity to engage in physical activity. 

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Parks: Improving Mental Health and Well-Being

Being healthy isn't just about physical fitness — we also need to consider the mental components of health and wellness.

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Solving Summer Hunger

Summer hunger for low-income children is a solvable problem, and park and recreation professionals are uniquely positioned to help.

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Beating the Social Stigmas of Aging

Senior athletes and students join forces in community health partnership.

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