Harness Nature's Power: Health Benefits of National Parks and Recreation Month

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put together.” John Burroughs

People have been celebrating Park and Recreation Month in the United States since 1985 to promote building resilient, strong, and vibrant communities through the strength of parks and recreation while recognizing their full-time parks and recreation professionals of more than 160,000 men and women, along with their seasonal employees and hundreds of thousands of part-time workers in the field of parks and recreation. Also celebrated are the many volunteers who, together with the rest of the parks and recreational professionals, maintain the country’s state, local, and community parks.

“Where Community Grows” is this year’s (2023) theme, celebrating the important role park and recreation workers play in uniting people, providing vital services, and fostering the continuous growth of our communities.

Health Benefits of Getting Outdoors


Spending just twenty minutes outside in nature helps children and adults with ADD or ADHD improve their concentration and lessen the need for medication. For older adults, taking a nature walk improves memory and cognitive function. These benefits can greatly improve your ability to think quicker and smarter.


Walking in nature offers you great health benefits, much more so than doing the same thing inside, such as on a treadmill. People are much more likely to repeat this type of activity because it is conducted in a natural environment. The scenery never stays the same. Walking with a group in a national park instills a sense of community and bonding, making the individuals more likely to have stronger ties to the members of their communities.


Taking a thirty-minute walk in a national park improves heart health, lowers cholesterol, and improves circulation, blood pressure, and blood glucose. Nature walks reduce inflammation and add a boost to your immune system, which lowers your risk of certain cancers and other diseases. Studies on national park activities revealed that interacting with a natural environment increases socialization, which prevents dementia and other diseases.

Observing animals and listening to bird songs in nature promotes wellness, improves mood, reduces stress, and lowers attention fatigue. The natural scents from plants, soils, and wood have a calming effect, and taking in these sights can reduce any overwhelming feelings you may be having.


Taking just a five-minute nature walk improves relaxation, mood, and self-esteem. Taking those walks frequently lowers levels of anxiety and depression while promoting a sense of fulfillment and well-being. Studies show that physical activity in a natural environment lowers cortisol levels and reduces stress by 15%!

Increased Productivity

Being physically active in a green space improves short and long-term memory, cognitive control, and overall brain function. Attention and mental restoration take place by achieving the habit of walking in parks. Concentration gets better, and learning gets easier.

Exercising in nature leads to greater health benefits than performing the same activity indoors. Living close to a national or a local park can increase your working memory and concentration. It is easier to motivate yourself when you can look forward to the beauty of the land, all while boosting your heart and metabolic rates and lowering your anxiety and stress.

Some define wellness as simply the concept of being in good health. We all have our own ways of tapping into healthy habits. There are different ways of managing stress and relieving anxiety, all to support a healthy mind and body. The general principle behind wellness is the integration of mental, physical, social, and spiritual aspects of life. The National Parks have great ways of getting involved in ways you can take wellness home with you!

Many of the national parks offer scenic rivers where you can engage in hobbies such as biking, hiking, art, and volunteering. Hobbies are important to your health; they are a time where you can pause and be one with an activity you enjoy. Paddling is a favorite hobby of many. All you can do while you are floating is, well, float! It is about letting go of control. You can’t make the river go any faster or slower, so you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride. Taking pictures, finding animals in the clouds, and most importantly, being unplugged-there probably isn’t great cell service anyway.

Breathing in the fresh air while visiting a national park is a good way to clear your mind. With a clearer mind, you can concentrate better and gain a feeling of happiness. Wellness activities can be as simple as looking out of your car window and beholding the awesomeness of the outdoors.

Wellness practices are really anything that takes you to a higher state of good health, but don’t forget to drink some water. Hydration and a nice walk along the Yosemite waterfalls will set your mind at ease.
Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park is the park’s highest waterfall, dropping a total of 2,425 feet from the top of the upper fall to the base of the lower fall. The park is located in the Sierra Nevada of California. Take a visit in late spring, when the fall’s flow is at its peak.

Practicing mindfulness is wonderful for your health. Spending time near the waterfalls gives you time to use all five of your senses.

Listen, smell, look, feel, and taste exactly where you are in that moment. Doing this in any national park as you travel grants you this unique experience-one for the memory books to last a lifetime. Call it your “senses tour” and try to do it in many of the national parks.

Trusted Partners

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a showcase of carved valleys, melting glaciers, spectacular lakes, and alpine meadows. It spans 1,583 square miles in Montana’s Rocky Mountains. These valleys run along the Canadian border and hold more than 700 miles of hiking trails. Backpacking, camping, and cycling along its diverse wildlife ranges will give you a nice dose of wellness activities to place neatly into your health and wellness tool kit.

Fun Facts: Glacier National Park

  • Glacier National Park is part of the world’s first international peace park.
  • Glaciers straddle the Continental Divide, allowing for extreme weather.
  • Going-to-the-Sun Road is a spectacular marvel and a must-see on your trip to Glacier. US Department of Interior

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tubing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. It is the perfect getaway for camping and hiking. It is one of the oldest mountain ranges in America. Established in 1926, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. It got its name from the ever-present morning fog and is best known for its world-renowned plant and animal diversity. The beauty of its mountains displays nearly 80 historic buildings.

Fun Facts: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  • There is no entrance fee to the national park.
  • Salamander Capital of the World
  • Some of the Oldest Mountains in the World

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

From rim to rim, you can hike, ride mules, or take a whitewater rafting trip around Grand Canyon National Park. It encompasses river tributaries, canyons, and the beautiful ground surrounding the park. Millions of people make the trip to Grand Canyon National Park each year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the globe. It sits in the northwestern quadrant of Arizona and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

The Grand Canyon had a long and difficult road to gaining national park status, starting with many congressional bills that failed. Theodore Roosevelt made multiple visits to the canyon before making it a national monument in 1908. It was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 as a national park. It sits at 7,000 feet above sea level and has many places for visitors to stop and marvel at its beauty. The trip by car from one rim to the other is 220 miles, but by foot it is 21 miles across.

Make sure to take in the aerial view of the Grand Canyon. You never have to leave the ground. The Hualapai Tribe manages the Skywalk, which is located on tribal grounds. It is a steel frame, horseshoe-shaped, with a glass floor. It is by far the most famous attraction the park has to offer.

Fun Facts: Grand Canyon

  • The Grand Canyon is bigger than the state of Rhode Island.
  • The most dangerous animal in the park is the rock squirrel.
  • The Grand Canyon was carved over some 6 million years.

What Our Clients Are Saying

    Get In Touch

    Electronic Scope of Appointment

    Senior Healthcare Advisors offers Medicare Advantage plans, Supplement Insurance plans, and Stand-Alone Prescription Drug plan options.
    Agreeing to this does not affect your current or future Medicare enrollment status, nor will it obligate you to enroll or automatically enroll you in a plan. This scope of appointment is effective as of: and grants permission to discuss the above plan types, You may revoke consent to contact or scope of appointment at any time.

    Terms & Conditions

    You may be contacted by a licensed insurance agent. Providing your number (000.000.0000) and clicking “yes” is your electronic signature authorizing Senior Healthcare Advisors, LLC, and its affiliates, agents, representatives, and service providers (collectively, “Senior Healthcare Advisors”) to send you marketing telephone calls, pre-recorded calls, text messages, and messages at the number and email address you provided using an ATDS or automated systems for the selection or dialing of telephone numbers. Your consent is not required as a condition of purchase. Benefits may vary by carrier and location. Limitations and exclusions may apply. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent [6] organizations which offer [81,602] products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options. We are not responsible for the content or accuracy of the information provided by other sources. It is important to note that our marketing materials may not include all the plans available in your area, and any information we provide is limited to the plans we offer in your area. You also confirm that you are the subscriber to, or the customary user of, the telephone number and e-mail address you provided. You may unsubscribe at any time. Senior Healthcare Advisors, LLC, a licensed health insurance agency that sells Medicare products and operates as Senior Healthcare Advisors,LLC owns Senior Healthcare, Advisors, LLC a non-government organization. Please note that Senior Healthcare Advisors is not affiliated with or connected with Medicare or any other government program or agency. Senior Healthcare Advisors, LLC, represents Medicare Advantage [HMO, PPO and PFFS] organizations [and stand-alone PDP prescription drug plans] that have a Medicare contract. Enrollment depends on the plan’s contract renewal. Enrollment can be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a special election or enrollment period or you are in your Medicare Initial Election Period. General Benefits: Not all plans offer all of these benefits; benefits may vary by carrier and location. Limitations and exclusions may apply.

    Skip to content