VERMONT - This summer, Vermont physicians will be prescribing active play in Vermont State Parks to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic health issues.
The Vermont Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports along with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation gave doctors free day passes to state parks to give to patients.
These "prescriptions" follow the principles of Exercise in Medicine (EiM), a global health initiative to promote physical activity.
"Studies have demonstrated that outdoor exercise is associated with increased energy and revitalization and decreased depression and tension," said Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine, a physician at Northwestern Medical Center and a member of the VT Governor's Council.
"The sun also helps to create through your skin Vitamin D3, which is important for bone health and metabolic function," Dr. Fontaine continued.
In addition to handing out state park pass prescriptions, the VT Governor's Council is also encouraging doctors to talk with patients about the importance of exercise.
"The Park Prescription program is a perfect way to highlight the connection between outdoor recreation and personal health. Spending time outdoors, connecting with nature and being active all help keep us strong in both body and spirit," said Director of Vermont State Parks Craig Whipple.
"And state parks offer the ideal settings for valuable outdoor time," Whipple added.
For more information about Vermont state parks, visit www.vtstateparks.com.
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