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    Outdoor Recreation: Key to Achieving a Healthy Weight

    Perhaps the greatest gymnasium in the world is the great outdoors.

    Gyms tend to be crowded this time of year as one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to shed a few pounds. With more than 227 miles of trails and 28 regional parks throughout Jefferson County, Jeffco Open Space offers an enjoyable alternative.

    The average person burns about 100 calories for every mile walked, according to the American Hiking Society. That means at a normal pace of 2.5 miles an hour – a 24-minute mile – you can burn 250 calories an hour just by walking. These estimates increase when elevation gain, altitude, carrying a weighted backpack or the added labor of snowshoeing are included. Vigorous physical activity has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, osteoporosis and arthritis.

    Working in partnership, Jeffco Public Health and Jeffco Open Space suggest integrating any kind of physical activity into your family’s daily life is vital to a healthier lifestyle. By routinely using the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to key destinations like school, stores, libraries or parks when safe routes are available or taking brief walk breaks throughout the day, we become more active during our daily routines.

    Living a more active lifestyle any way you can be fun and result in healthier daily patterns for you and your family in 2014 and beyond. For more some ideas on integrating physical activity into your daily life, download 20 Tips for Getting your Family on Track.

    Losing or maintaining weight can be a fun endeavor. Grab your hiking boots or trail runners and enjoy Jeffco Open Space while enhancing your fitness.

    Thea Rock
    Communications Manager

    January 27, 2014

    Last Updated: 1-27-2014