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It's "National Park and Rec Month"

July 8, 2014 - Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG - From Lake Erie to the Alleghenies and Pocanos to the Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvanians are being encouraged to venture beyond their homes and offices, and head into the commonwealth's spectacular outdoors during "National Park and Recreation Month" in July.

Lauren Hoffman, director of marketing and communications at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), says her organization is challenging Americans to move the setting of a typical indoor activity like a work meeting or meal to the outdoors each day in July. She says no matter where you live, there is plenty to do in Pennsylvania's great outdoors.

"Park and Recreation Month is a great time to get outdoors, get inspired, and get involved through community parks and recreation," says Hoffman. "It's all about getting outdoors and getting active."

According to Hoffman, a recent study shows about 30 percent of Americans don't spend any time outdoors on a daily basis. The same study found even those who manage to get outdoors are there for 30 minutes or less per day.

Hoffman says she hopes promoting outdoor activity in July will help people develop, and enjoy, the benefits of a more active lifestyle throughout the year.

"Studies show time spent visiting outdoor parks and being in the outdoors can help improve your mental health and reduce stress," she says. "Parks and recreation really provide the opportunity to get outside and get physically active."

Hoffman says another challenge to getting both young people and adults outdoors is so many are glued to their smart phones and tablets. She encourages contacting your local parks and recreation department to learn more about the programs and services offered in your area.

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