Utahns urged to be outdoors: it’s "National Park and Rec Month"

July is 'National Park and Recreation Month,' to encourage people to spend more time in the outdoors. This month's challenge: Move a typically indoor activity outside, just for the fun of it. Photo courtesy Oregon Metro.

<span>SALT LAKE CITY – July is ‘National Park and Recreation Month,’ and, according to one group, a good time to enjoy outdoor Utah.</span>

<span>Lauren Hoffman directs marketing and communications at the National Recreation and Park Association. She said her organization is challenging Americans to move an indoor activity, like a work meeting or family meal, outside each day in July.</span>

<span>She added that no matter where one lives in Utah, there’s plenty to do in the outdoors.</span>

<span>”If you’re in Salt Lake City, St. George, or Ogden,” said Hoffman, “Park and Recreation Month is a great opportunity for you to get outdoors, get inspired, and really get involved with your community through parks and recreation.”</span>

<span>According to Hoffman, a recent study showed about 30 percent of Americans spend little time outside, and those who do limit it to about 30 minutes or less per day.</span>

<span>Hoffman said she hopes that promoting outdoor activity in July will help people develop a more active lifestyle year-round.</span>

<span>”There are various studies that are showing that parks and outdoor time can really help improve your mental health and reduce stress,” said Hoffman. “Parks and recreation really provide the opportunity to get out there and get physically active.”</span>

<span>Hoffman admitted a challenge to getting both young people and adults outdoors is that many are glued to smart phones and tablets.</span>

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