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    5 Reasons Why Getting Outdoors is Good for Your Health

    Jeffco Open Space visitors cite many reasons for coming to our Parks. According to the 2011 Citizen Survey, 45% visit Jeffco Open Space to hike and walk; 23% visit to walk with their dog; 10% visit to mountain bike; and 6% to run. The rest make up a combination of bicycling, fishing, enjoying scenery, picnicking, wildlife viewing and horseback riding.

    One of the biggest reasons to get out and enjoy places like Jeffco Open Space Parks and Trails is something most people may not even realize: it benefits their health in significant ways.

    From a July 2010 Harvard Health Letter, benefits to being outdoors include improvements to overall health:

    Boost Vitamin D. Studies suggest that this vitamin helps fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks.

    Be Happier. Light tends to elevate people’s mood, and there is usually more daylight available outside than in. Physical activity has been shown to help people relax and cheer up.

    Improve Concentration. Children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors. It might just apply to adults as well.
    Heal Faster. In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light.

    Get More Exercise. If you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking and doing other things that put the body in motion.

    Jeffco Open Space, the Fairgrounds, Colorado State University Extension, Boettcher Mansion and County Weed and Pest make up the Jeffco Parks Department. Open Space, the largest division, was founded as a land conservation organization in 1972 and preserves natural and cultural resources, provides quality outdoor recreation experiences and promotes sound environmental stewardship. Open Space is funded with a one-half cent sales tax that has protected over 52,000 acres, created 28 regional parks and 227 miles of trails in Jefferson County.

    Thea Rock
    Communications Manager
    (303) 271-5902

    December 2, 2013

    Last Updated: 12-2-2013