National Walk in the Park Day
March 30th: National Walk in the Park Day
"A walk in the park a day keeps mental fatigue away."
The quote above is the title of an article that explains the result from an experiment when we take time to get away from life's normal chaos. In this experiment, volunteers were given a task to test their memory and attention. They were then asked to take a walk through either a park or downtown. The experiment found that those who viewed nature performed better on the original task afterward compared to those who took a walk with mainly buildings and a busy urban setting as their visual surrounding. Therefore, the psychologists were able to conclude that,
"...Being in the context of nature is effortless, permitting us to replenish our capacity to attend and thus having a restorative effect on our mental abilities."
Read more at: phys.org
Among many other benefits, walking is an effective way to relax and unwind. Parks typically offer that effect, as well, since many of them provide a serene feeling and visually soothing surroundings. So, it makes sense for parks and walking to go hand-in-hand.
The month of March marked the beginning of Spring, allowing us to enjoy warmer weather for enjoying the outdoors. This works out perfectly to honor "Take a Walk in the Park Day" on March 30th.
The origin and history of this day is unknown but It is a celebrated day that many people acknowledge and take part in. I just discovered this and wanted to share it with others to remind us all that our daily routines can cause us stress but making a small effort, like walking in the park, is not far-fetched and can be extremely helpful.
Enjoying the park with a brisk walk can have a positive effect on our mind, body and soul!
Enjoy the Beautiful Scenery at Parks
Benefits of Walking
Walking is something we can do pretty much anywhere. It does not require much effort and the benefits that we reap from this simple exercise on a daily basis can be momentous.
Why You Should Take Time to Walk:
- Provides a healthier lifestyle if done regularly
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Boosts your spirits and mood
- Can prevent multiple health conditions, like heart disease and high blood pressure
- Increases your balance and coordination
Read more from The Mayo Clinic's article,Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health.
Riverside ParkClick thumbnail to view full-size
Walking for Exercise
Do you walk regularly as a way to exercise?
Effective Techniques to Use While Walking
The staff at the Mayo Clinic also mentions to use proper techniques in order to receive the most health benefits when walking:
- Keep your head up and looking forward, not staring at the ground.
- Relax your neck, shoulders and back.
- Freely swing your arms, bending your elbows slightly.
- Your back is straight, not arched and stomach muscles are slightly tightened.
- Walk with heel to toe.
They also remind you to warm up with light walking first and to remember to stretch when you are done.
Mandarin ParkClick thumbnail to view full-size
Treaty Oak ParkClick thumbnail to view full-size
Use this Pocket Pedometer to Count Your Steps While You Walk
Saving Money by Walking and Additional Benefits from Walking
Save Your Health and Money by Walking More
Leah Zerbe points out in 8 Astonishing Benefits of Walking, that walking regularly can save you money:
- You can spend less on buying medications that you can prevent having to use by walking regularly.
- Walking outdoors, (such as the park), saves you from paying a gym membership.
Additional Benefits from Walking
Zerbe outlines more reasons to go for a walk:
- Deflects diabetes
- Improves your sex life
- Can help decrease fibromyalgia pain, which can involve fatigue and brain fog
- Increases your odds of defeating breast cancer
- Reduces stroke risks
- Lowers risk of developing dementia
Both articles I refer to shows that the more you walk, the more you can clear your mind and mentally remove stress. Therefore, even if you do not think you need to walk for weight loss or other physical health benefits, take a walk to at least aid you mentally!
More Photos of Riverside ParkClick thumbnail to view full-size
Jacksonville, FL: The Hostess with the Mostest
Fun fact: There are 262 parks in Jacksonville and the city operates the largest urban park system in the nation. For more information and other parks in the city, visit the city's park and recreations homepage here.
Take a Walk in Jacksonville, FL Parks
I did not appreciate going to parks before as I do now as a parent of young children. Taking a walk in the park really does offer plenty of benefits. Personally, I appreciate how parks can help you relax and provides something to do outdoors without breaking the bank.
They really do save your mind from the insanity that work, school, kids or every day living can cause... at least, for a little while! Here are some parks I recommend visiting if you are ever in the Jacksonville area or if you are like me and just adore learning about various parks:
Parks in Jacksonville, FL
- Riverside Park
- Memorial Park
- Stinson Park
- Treaty Oak Park/Jesse Ball duPont Park
- Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens
- Mandarin Park
- Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
My kids can not get enough of visiting parks. They enjoy the playgrounds that many of these parks I listed provide but they are just as happy throwing a ball around or just running through the parks that do not have a playground. Many of these parks give you a beautiful view of our St. John's River and have plenty of trees, flowers and charming scenery for the young and old to enjoy.
Similar to most parks in Jacksonville, FL, all these parks are free except for Hanna Park which charges a small entrance fee.
Stop by my blog to learn more and see more photos of parks:
- B is for...: Best Week to Visit a National Park
A post on National Park Week, discussing the days when you can get free entrance to national parks.
Stinson ParkClick thumbnail to view full-size
A Snippet of Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens
Visit Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens
A beautiful place to explore nature, Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens offers multiple nature trails for you to spend a nice day out walking and appreciating what nature has to offer. They have free programs every month to learn more about various plants and animals. They encourage volunteers to come out and help maintain it all.
There are plenty of picnic tables to stop and eat so that you can take advantage of visiting here the entire day. Bring a camera, good walking shoes and lots of water. This is a wonderful place to unwind, snap some nature photos and work on your fitness.
More Photos of Mandarin Park
Explore More Places to Hike and Walk in Jacksonville, FL
Various Activities and Events You Can Do at Parks
Natural, outdoor setting
Easy, no brainer fun for kids, especially if there is a playground
Affordable, usually just need to pay for a small amount for a permit to hold the wedding at parks
Can bring balls, sports equipments, bubbles for extra games and activities
Play dates for kids
Not much decoration needed
Affordable venue- can be free if you do not need to rent a picnic shelter
Beautiful pictures with good, natural lighting
Several parks provide grills so you can just cook food there
Exercise (like hiking, walking, playing sports, jogging, running)
Perfect venue if you want to keep the wedding short and limited to a few guests
You typically do not need to worry as much about setting up and cleaning up
Ideal location if you want to have only you and partner there, then you meet guests at another location for reception
Great for barbecues or picnic-style parties
Scenery is already nice backdrop for photos
Not much decoration needed
Lots of room to play, run and move (No breakables like glass and a TV to break as compared to hosting at home)
Reading books, drawing, painting
Learn About the National Parks
Take A Walk In The Park and Brighten Your Day
Walking in a park is such a simple way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. It offers various benefits to enjoy an activity, not only health-wise but financially, too. Visiting a park for leisure reasons does not require spending a lot of cash.
So, for "National Walk in the Park Day", grab a supportive pair of sneakers, slather on some sunscreen and bring a hat or visor and some water to a park in your neighborhood. Take in the trees, the small animals and scenery. Bring some food or a snack to munch on or just take a brisk walk to pump up your heart, boost your mood and your brain activity!
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Warmer weather also brings showers. Don't let the rain outside stop you from enjoying your time indoors. Here's plenty of activities to occupy your time alone, with the kids or with that special someone.