Published on August 21st, 2013 | by Pat0
In the News – Health Orgs: Outdoor Activity Crucial to Good Health
CINCINNATI — The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati announced Tuesday that, through its current re-branding process, the organization plans to launch (among other initiatives) two grants that could help connect long disparate hiking and biking trails throughout the region.
Cincinnati’s move this week is another link in a growing chain of health organizations around the country promoting outdoor activity as a crucial component to maintaining public health.
Another prominent example of this trend comes from Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. The park has partnered with Coca-Cola, the National Park Foundation, and the Rainy Lake Medical Center this year to launch its Hike-to-Health initiative, which includes several community events and hikes/walks meant to raise funds for area parks as well as awareness of the health benefits of outdoor activity.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise and physical activity benefit every area of your life. They can:
- Help maintain and improve your physical strength and fitness.
- Help improve your ability to do the things you want to do.
- Help improve your balance.
- Help manage and prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis.
- Help reduce feelings of depression, may improve mood and overall well-being, and may improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function, such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and ignore irrelevant information.
Hiking and biking (as well as walking and running) have been measured to increase your endurance, balance, and flexibility through the cardiovascular and muscular exercise they provide.
It’s true, a quick Google search will demonstrate the connection Americans have made between hiking and health. The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, and organizations like it, are making crucial steps possible in promoting the value of outdoor activity on a collective, community level.
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)