Benefits of Trail Use

           Trails are often used for exercise and as a location to relax and enjoy one’s solitude. However, the benefits that communities gain from trail use go far beyond these!

 

Why Choose Trails?

hendrie-boardwalk

  1. Trails help people of all ages connect with and learn about nature.

  2. Trails support and strengthen family and friendships.

  3. Trails encourage a wide selection of outdoor activities, such as walking, biking, rollerblading, running, etc.

  4. Trails help to reduce pollution and traffic congestion.

  5. There are less collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles in communities with trails.

  6. Trails play a part in preserving land. Trails help protect the homes of plants and animals.

  7. The property values are higher in neighbourhoods located close to trails.

  8. Trails attract tourists which support local restaurants, retail stores, and the community.

  9. Trails cost much less to build than building new roads.

  10. Trails increase the chance that citizens will meet their recommended levels of daily exercise.

  11. The medical benefits of trail use are almost three times greater than the cost of trail construction and maintenance.

 

Why Choose Nature?

Tiffany Falls (Hamilton Conservation Authority)

  1. Exercising in nature is associated with an increased feeling of revitalization and a decrease in negative emotions such as confusion, anger and depression. Many outdoor exercisers report a more positive mental well-being, and an increased self-esteem and mood.

  2. Spending time in nature can help lower stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure.

  3. Nature can help to improve a child’s attention levels and reduce their stress level.

  4. Spending time outside can lead to increased physical activity.

  5. People who exercise outdoors are more successful in losing and maintaining a healthy weight.

  6. Sunlight produces Vitamin D which can help improve mood and sleep.



 

 

            With the many benefits of both trail use and exposure to nature, it is very encouraging to get outside and use your local trails! Choose your mode of transportation and join the movement to a healthier environment and a healthier you!

 

References:

Benefits of Trails. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://hikeontario.com/why-hike/benefits-of-trails/

McMaster University. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://www.healthevidence.org/view-article.aspx?a=21738

What Are the Confirmed Benefits of Outdoor Exercise? (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/confirmed-benefits-outdoor-exercise-6307.html

5 unexpected benefits of exercising outdoors | Fox News. (2015). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/03/25/5-unexpected-benefits-exercising-outdoors.html

Result Filters. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19568835

McCurdy, L. E., Winterbottom, K. E., Mehta, S. S., & Roberts, J. R. (2010) Using nature and outdoor activity to improve children’s health. Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care, 40 (5), 102-117

Outdoor Exercise is more Beneficial than Indoor for Children. (2014). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from https://www.childrenandnature.org/2014/05/23/outdoor_exercise_is_more_beneficial_than_indoor_for_children_study/

VanBlarcom, B., Janmaat, J. (2013) Comparing the costs and health benefits of a proposed rail trail, Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 5:2, 187-206, DOI: 10.1080/19407963.2013.789729

Outdoor Exercise Beneficial to Mood and Self-Esteem. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/outdoor-exercise-beneficial-to-mood-and-self-esteem