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National Walk in the Park Day

Updated on March 27, 2015
BNadyn profile image

Bernadyn is a writer who contributes her work to various websites and magazines and is the Owner/Director for the website, B is 4.

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

Parks are the perfect place to visit in the Spring, making it the perfect season to honor "Walk in the Park Day."
Parks are the perfect place to visit in the Spring, making it the perfect season to honor "Walk in the Park Day." | Source

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 Park

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Riverside Park is located in Five Points, the Riverside area of Jacksonville, FL.  It boasts a playground, trees and flowers to admire.Nature uplifts your mind, helping to clear your head and refuel.This large tree in Riverside Park provides shade for those who want to sit down, have a picnic or just meditate.
Riverside Park is located in Five Points, the Riverside area of Jacksonville, FL.  It boasts a playground, trees and flowers to admire.
Riverside Park is located in Five Points, the Riverside area of Jacksonville, FL. It boasts a playground, trees and flowers to admire. | Source
Source
Nature uplifts your mind, helping to clear your head and refuel.
Nature uplifts your mind, helping to clear your head and refuel. | Source
This large tree in Riverside Park provides shade for those who want to sit down, have a picnic or just meditate.
This large tree in Riverside Park provides shade for those who want to sit down, have a picnic or just meditate. | Source

Walking for Exercise

Do you walk regularly as a way to exercise?

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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 Park

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mandarin Park offers a playground, beautiful scenery and a boat ramp for boats to enjoy the river.My kids enjoy playing at this calm and peaceful park.While the kids play, the park offers parents a chance to get away from some stress.
Mandarin Park offers a playground, beautiful scenery and a boat ramp for boats to enjoy the river.
Mandarin Park offers a playground, beautiful scenery and a boat ramp for boats to enjoy the river. | Source
My kids enjoy playing at this calm and peaceful park.
My kids enjoy playing at this calm and peaceful park. | Source
While the kids play, the park offers parents a chance to get away from some stress.
While the kids play, the park offers parents a chance to get away from some stress. | Source

Treaty Oak Park

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The incredible oak tree is what gave this park its name.  Also known as Jesse Ball duPont Park, that is the part of the park that surrounds the tree.This tree is estimated at over 250 years old.
The incredible oak tree is what gave this park its name.  Also known as Jesse Ball duPont Park, that is the part of the park that surrounds the tree.
The incredible oak tree is what gave this park its name. Also known as Jesse Ball duPont Park, that is the part of the park that surrounds the tree. | Source
This tree is estimated at over 250 years old.
This tree is estimated at over 250 years old. | Source

Memorial Park

Located in the Riverside area of Jacksonville, FL, this is a popular park for its natural beauty and proximity to the river.
Located in the Riverside area of Jacksonville, FL, this is a popular park for its natural beauty and proximity to the river. | Source

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 Park

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sit, relax, read a book or just enjoy the quiet from every day worries.This park has an abundance of nature scenery, including the animals that have made this park their home.
Sit, relax, read a book or just enjoy the quiet from every day worries.
Sit, relax, read a book or just enjoy the quiet from every day worries. | Source
This park has an abundance of nature scenery, including the animals that have made this park their home.
This park has an abundance of nature scenery, including the animals that have made this park their home. | Source
Source
Source

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

  1. Riverside Park
  2. Memorial Park
  3. Stinson Park
  4. Treaty Oak Park/Jesse Ball duPont Park
  5. Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens
  6. Mandarin Park
  7. 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.

Stinson Park

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Walking through this park brings tranquility and an escape from your daily stress.
Walking through this park brings tranquility and an escape from your daily stress.
Walking through this park brings tranquility and an escape from your daily stress. | Source

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

Parks are the perfect place to relieve mental stress.
Parks are the perfect place to relieve mental stress. | Source
Visiting the park makes for plenty of nice photos, as well.
Visiting the park makes for plenty of nice photos, as well. | Source

Explore More Places to Hike and Walk in Jacksonville, FL

Various Activities and Events You Can Do at Parks

Weddings
Parties
Other Activities
Natural, outdoor setting
Easy, no brainer fun for kids, especially if there is a playground
Romantic date
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
Picnics
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
Fishing
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
Boating
 
Scenery is already nice backdrop for photos
Taking pictures
 
Not much decoration needed
Observing nature
 
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

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!



©BNadyn 2014


Comments

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  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    What lovely places to walk, and what an excellent Hub you created!

  • KoraleeP profile image

    Koralee Phillips 3 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

    Thank you for your article. I love walking but didn't really think about all the health benefits. I like it because I find it is a really great way to maintain stress.

    But I'm glad to know that walking can help increase the odds of defeating breast cancer, because I'm high risk.

    Thanks again. Voting up and sharing!

    Increases your odds of defeating breast cancer

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    You are welcome! I'm glad you found this and it was helpful to you. I think you'll enjoy the Arboretum, it's definitely a nice place to relax and explore to get away for a bit. Have a nice weekend. :)

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

    We were just talking about how we need to plan a regular break instead of planning so much work…then I come across this hub. :)

    Will be keeping this hub in mind since we periodically pass through and/or visit Jacksonville. The arboretum/gardens seem like a perfect place to take a break. Thanks for great ideas on taking a walk in a park.

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    Thank you, Eddy, I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for voting up. Have a wonderful day. :)

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

    Well what a wonderful and beautiful walk in the park we had. I truly enjoyed this hub and voting up for sure.

    Eddy.

  • BNadyn profile image
    Author

    Bernadyn 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

    Oh wow, I wouldn't want to walk in those conditions, either! That's good to hear that you take regular walks. I know I need to do it more. I just checked, too, on the weather here and looks like possible rain so we will see. Enjoy your weekend and hopefully all that rain isn't too bad. :)

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    The forecast calls for ten straight days of rain here in Olympia. I walk on a regular basis, but not in a deluge. :) Still, I like the idea of a healthier country and I'm doing pretty well.