Reinforcing Healthy Habits
The Parks and Recreation Department is supporting the National Recreation and Parks Association's (NRPA) Commit to Health initiative. This Initiative supports the implementation of healthy eating and physical activity standards in park and recreation sites across the nation. Now you can help reinforce the healthy habits that you and your children are learning in their out-of-school time program in your home and out in your neighborhood. In addition, check out our amenities, events, and programs we offer to help you in your commitment to health this year.
Active Living Research
Active Transportation and Public Health
One of the most efficient ways to build physical activity into a daily routine is to make the process of getting from Point A to Point B an active one rather than passive. That means creating access to routes that are safe and convenient for walking, biking, jogging, and more.
Park Programming and Better Health
Research shows that recreation programs in parks can change the way that people interact with their environment. By providing the community with ways to get involved with and stay invested in its green spaces, effective park programming brings many benefits to health and wellbeing for residents.
Parks and Chronic Disease Management
There is a well-known link between the physical activity associated with parks and recreation programs and reductions in chronic diseases such as type II diabetes and heart disease. But research shows that even being able to see a park can help improve an individual’s health and well-being.
Parks and Healthy Kids
Today’s youth and teens face a variety of chronic illnesses that have been linked to a lack of activity, poor nutrition and too little time outdoors. Access to parks and recreation programs have been proven to be a key to overcoming these issues and promoting healthy youth.
Parks and Improved Mental Health and Quality of Life
More time spent in parks and green spaces can help individuals fight against mental health issues like depression, anxiety and stress. Making sure that all people have access to parks and outdoor programming is a critical way to increase these positive effects on health and quality of life for your community.
Monthly Healthy Calendar
(click for PDF)
|JANUARY||Use these resources to learn about healthy cooking techniques, meal preparation and making healthier food choices as a family in the month of January.
|FEBRUARY||Celebrate National Heart Month by creating healthier habits at home! This February, find some healthy alternatives to reduce sugar consumption, as too much can lead to heart disease and obesity.|
||March Madness is here! This month get ”mad” about reading the ingredient lists! Do you know how to read a food label? How can you find hidden sugar and fats? Is there too much sodium in the products you are buying? Use the resources below to find healthier foods to serve to your family.|
||Tax time reminds us to pay attention to our bills, including the cost of food we provide for our families. Take steps to make grocery shopping easier this April! Learn how to create shopping lists with healthy and nutritious foods while on a budget!|
|MAY||As the weather warms up this May, make sure your family is hydrated with healthy beverages. Look out for those sugar-filled beverage products!|
|JUNE||Summer is here—get outside and have fun exercising as a family! Kick off summer in the month of June by learning new exercises you can do as a family, where you can exercise together as a family, and what type of intensity you should be exercising at! Summer heat tip: if it’s too hot outside find a mall and take some laps!|
|JULY||July is the perfect time for summer cookouts and healthy snacks! Summer cookouts are healthy and fun, but watch portion sizes, and added sugars in foods and beverages (cole slaw and ketchup for example, have lots of added sugars – go for mustard that has none!) Focus on nutritious snacks this summer that are healthy and your kids will enjoy!|
|AUGUST||As the school year begins it’s time to focus on healthy meals and snacks. Read labels when restocking to be sure the items you select don’t have too much added sugar, sodium, or fat! If you’ve got a busy week and you’re planning to eat out, follow some healthy tips to eat well!|
|SEPTEMBER||Different cultures have different food traditions. This September, explore different
culinary treats from cultures around the world—from meal preparation to cooking spices. Mealtime can be healthy, fun, and exciting if you try different recipes and cook as a family!
||Fall is here! This October, learn how you can shop on a budget—buy seasonal
produce, buy items in bulk, cook meals that create several portions. As you prepare
your menu, find out where you can find healthy foods on a budget.
|NOVEMBER||November signals the beginning of the Holiday season. Holidays (and everyday) need to be approached with attention to portion sizes. Don’t overdo it, and perhaps rely on some of the tip sheets below for suggestions on how to manage portions during this fun time of year!|
||As the weather cools down and winter break arrives, make sure you stay active this month! Learn new types of exercise you can do as a family and what intensity you should be exercising at. Spend your winter break working off the holidays by being active and participating in seasonal activities, or warm up indoors with some laps at your local shopping mall.|