Parks Offer Ways to Prevent Diabetes through Physical Activity

November is National Diabetes Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 37 million people in the United States have diabetes and over a third have prediabetes. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the cells that make insulin. Type 2 is a metabolic disease, where the body does not respond to insulin properly, increasing blood sugar levels in the body. However, healthy changes and habits can help prevent diabetes, like spending time outdoors, exercising regularly and increasing physical activity.

Public parks and recreation agencies are an underutilized healthcare resource. Across the United States, parks, healthcare providers, public health agencies, and other entities have successfully facilitated conversations about active living through “park prescriptions” programs, connecting individuals and families to free opportunities for physical activity close to their homes.

Parks create healthy communities and play a fundamental role in enhancing the physical environments in which we live. It is widely known that there is a connection between exposure to nature and good health—it relieves stress levels, improves mental health and provides opportunities for individuals to reduce obesity and incidence of chronic diseases.

One of PBC Parks’ core services is facilitating health and wellness opportunities for residents and visitors to stay active and foster overall wellness and healthful habits that enrich opportunities and add balance to life. PBC Parks offers more than 80 park locations where you can explore nature and participate in a wide range of outdoor recreation activities such as paved multi-use pedestrian pathways, exercise trails and fitness zones with exercise equipment, sports fields and courts, swimming pools, and more. Through accessible and inclusive facilities, outdoor settings, programs and services, your County parks support good health for everyone.

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