Rewards offered for outdoor exercise

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The link between spending time outside and becoming healthier prompted one Tennessee park ranger to think of a new idea to promote health as well as the enjoyment of the state’s parks and natural areas.

Healthy Parks Healthy Person is a new initiative by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to encourage Tennesseans to exercise in exchange for rewards such as free meals and lodging at state parks.

Cummins Falls Park Ranger Ray Cutcher explained that people can download an application onto their phones or computers in which they can log in daily and enter activities as walking, hiking, swimming or running and earn points that can be exchanged for rewards.

“Ryan Jenkins, the park manager at Henry Horton State Park, he developed this,” Cutcher said.

Each activity earns 10 points, and over time, individuals can earn rewards such as a free round of golf, swimming passes, meals, ranger-led hikes, gift shop items, camping passes and cabin rentals. Cookeville Councilman Chuck Womack, a urologist, has been urging cardiologists to participate in writing “prescriptions” for patients to simply go outside and walk. To sign up for Healthy Parks Health Person rewards, visit healthyparkstn. com.