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Florida Residents Encouraged to Enjoy the Great Outdoors In The Sunshine State

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

June 24, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS IN THE SUNSHINE STATE

TALLAHASSEE—This June, the Florida Department of Health invites residents to get active and enjoy the natural wonders Florida has to offer. Get Outdoors Month encourages residents to fully enjoy Florida’s 161 state parks, 10 state trails and 12 national parks.

“Getting outdoors with friends and family, whether it be hiking, biking, swimming or just having fun, truly  strengthens Florida’s communities,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Get Outdoors Month is a great reminder to get outside and be active.”

Increased physical activity, especially outdoors, leads to various physical and mental health benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, time spent outdoors helps:

  • Maintain weight;
  • Reduce high blood pressure;
  • Reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke and several forms of cancer;
  • Reduce arthritis pain and associated disability;
  • Reduce risk for osteoporosis and falls; and
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

 “A great way to celebrate ‘Get Outdoors Month’ is to visit Florida’s award-winning parks and trails,” says Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service. “Florida’s 161 state parks and 10 trails span nearly 800,000 acres and 100 miles of beach so there are plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities to stay healthy all year long.”

Make sure you plan ahead and include healthy meals and snacks on your outdoor adventure. The Healthy Campfire Cooking Program from Healthiest Weight Florida offers several recipes that can be prepared ahead of time and cooked over a fire.

For more information on achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, visit the CDC’s Getting Started webpage.

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Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not-for-profit organizations, businesses and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living. To learn more about how to be active and make nutritious food choices, visit www.healthiestweightflorida.com.

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.