All over America, hospitals and regional healthcare systems are beginning to tap into the enormous potential of trails to address local health problems. Trails are now recognized as being vital pieces of public health infrastructure.
“Prescribe-a-Trail” programs vary, but essentially, they are hour-or-so-long trail walks led by doctors or other clinicians. Before the walk, participants gather at a meeting spot on the trail and listen to a short talk by a clinician. During the walk, they have additional time to speak with the clinician. Even though some people walk quickly and others walk slowly, everyone seems to find a few walking partners, and the clinician makes himself available to everyone throughout the course of the walk.
Published August 21, 2017
Trails are an important resource, but sadly we are increasingly seeing trails abused by littering and vandalism. American Trails has created a packet to teach kids to be great trail stewards so the next generation of trail lovers can help lead the way towards better care for our trails.
Promoting physical activity among children and adults is a priority national health objective in the United States. Regular physical activity lowers the risk of chronic diseases and is an important strategy for reversing the obesity epidemic.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the creation of nature-rich urban environments, including schoolyards with natural play spaces and gardens, can help improve physical and mental health, cognitive skills, creativity, and social bonding.
The phenomena of thru-hiking has been on a dramatic rise, spurring hikers to venture onto increasingly remote and challenging trails over extended periods of time. Despite the recent popularity of thru-hiking, the field remains relatively unstudied. In recreation, the expectations held beforehand have been linked to perceptions after an activity, but this has not been explored in thru-hiking.