July is Parks and Recreation Month
Time to enjoy the outdoors and stay safe!
By Lisbeth Irish
New York State has 180 state parks. The opportunities for getting out and enjoying the beauty of our state are endless. Hiking, biking, golfing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming are just a few ways to enjoy our parks and recreation. In addition to the 180 New York State Parks, many counties, cities, towns, and villages have recreational options.
Moving our bodies keeps them healthy but moving our bodies outside has the added bonus of connecting with nature. Outdoor activities are often helpful in reducing feelings of depression and improving mood. Be sure to stay safe when you are exploring outdoor physical activities.
- Charge your phone to prepare for emergencies.
- Take a nutritious snack or a picnic when you go. Nonperishable food is often the easiest and safest in warm weather. A homemade trail mix of your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a whole-grain cereal is an easy take-along snack. An almond butter and banana sandwich on whole-grain bread with an apple is a healthy lunch.
- Make sure you stay hydrated, too. Children and older adults are at greater risk for dehydration. Be sure to pack extra water in your backpack.
- Apply sunscreen periodically. Wear a hat and wear long pants and socks if you plan to hike in the woods or fields. Check for ticks often.
- When hiking alone, make sure someone knows where you are and what time you’re expected home.
Don't let another day go by before exploring new ways to enjoy and "re-create" your recreation. No matter who you are or where you live, you can find safe, fun ways to get active and move your way!
SNAP-ed NY resources to help you get started:
Find a trail or park:
NYS Parks and Recreation
A great way to identify birds by their songs while you’re on a hike:
The "Merlin" app from Cornell University
Lisbeth Irish is a Registered Dietitian with the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA). She has more than 25 years of experience working as a Registered Dietitian in a variety of settings and currently oversees the NYSOFA SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education program for older adults in New York State. This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For more information on how to save time, save money and eat healthy, visit www.snapedny.org