By Lynanne Dellerman
Now that the fall season is upon us, Oro Valley is the perfect place to be! We have great temperatures, beautiful surroundings, and outdoor activities around every corner! Oro Valley is nestled at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains and Pusch Ridge, so hiking opportunities abound! We also have fabulous urban trails by way of our multi-use paths, as well as green parks and golf courses and some of the best cycling opportunities found anywhere in the region. Oro Valley outdoor festivals and events rev into high gear now that the temperatures are cooling off.
Outdoor events are a great way to recreate, be outdoors and have a myriad of fun activities to choose from all in one place. And since they are outdoors, they are good for you too!
It only takes about 15 minutes a day in nature to receive amazing benefits. There are many experts as well as scientific research indicating that spending time outdoors can improve your health. It is good for your body, mind and soul.
Outdoor physical activities such as jogging, trail running and hiking combine exercise and the outdoors for a mental health jackpot. Spending time in nature can improve your mental outlook, as well as provide physical benefits, according to both the National Institutes of Health and Harvard Medical School.
Environmental Psychologist Judith Heerwagen explains, “There is physiological evidence, such as a lower heart rate, that being outdoors reduces stress, by simply being in a natural setting, or going for a walk.” The Journal of Experimental Psychology studied walking and found that it also increases creativity. In addition, according to studies on children with ADHD, playing outside reduces symptoms and improves concentration.
Vitamin D is also a health benefit to being outdoors. We know to protect ourselves from too much sun exposure, but if we do not get enough sun exposure, we miss out on our best, natural source of vitamin D. “Most of us soak up between 80 to 90 percent of our daily vitamin D requirement from our time outdoors soaking up the sun,” said Dr. Michael F. Holick. “We need vitamin D for bone growth, cell growth, inflammation reduction and neuromuscular and immune function.”
On top of all that, being outdoors simply makes us happier. It boosts our serotonin production (the “feel good” neurotransmitter), and it increases activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability and love.
All of these wonderful health benefits of being outdoors make Oro Valley a great place to work, play, live and recreate! Mark your calendars for our fun, outdoor events this fall, and check out the calendar at www.orovalleyaz.gov for complete details!
Lynanne Dellerman is the recreation and
cultural services manager, Town of Oro Valley
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