You need 120 minutes to get you through the latest superhero movie. What if we invested those two hours in the great outdoors, instead? Could it have a superhero impact on your physical and mental health. A recent study by the Scientific Reports found spending two hours outdoors in the span of a week resulted in 59% better odds of good overall health and 23% better odds of mental well-being. This data was based on a representative sample of almost 20,000 British adults. The results are the same if those 120 minutes are spent in hour blocks or shorter increments. Findings are similar on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America published the results of a study about the impact of walking outside along a nature trail. They found a 90-minute walk in a natural environment versus an urban setting led to decreased levels of ‘rumination,’ thinking in which we repetitively go over a thought without bringing it to resolution. Rumination is associated with anxiety and an increased risk for depression. What does this mean to you? It means GOOD NEWS!!! Every person located within the 5 Healthy Towns service area is no further than 10 miles from a state, county, regional or local park, and a chance to destress. Hudson Mills Metropark, Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park, the Border to Border Trail and DTE Energy Trail are just some of the resources we have close at hand. There are more than 85 miles of trails in Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation Areas, alone. People drive 100s of miles to get to our beautiful natural resources and we have them in our own backyard – sometimes quite literally! Spending time with Mother Nature for your mental health doesn’t have to end when our green spaces transition to yellows, reds and oranges, and eventually white. Some warm clothing – perhaps with some snowshoes, winter boots, cross country skis or Yaktrax make it easy to get moving when, baby it’s cold outside! Most of the parks in our Five Healthy Towns offer winter recreation opportunities, and at least three of the communities have outdoor ice skating rinks. Border to Border/Huron Waterloo Pathways Trail Systems One Big Connection Natural Resources Listings
 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3, n.d.)
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