June is the first month of summer. Get out and enjoy the fresh air and reap the health benefits! You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the outdoors.
Here are some fun outdoor activities to enjoy:
Hiking – Go to a local park or state park. Check out these trails to do your hiking:
Very near, or in Omaha:
- Chalco Hills Trails, Omaha. 7 miles of trails – map
- Fontenelle Forest National Recreation Trail, Bellevue. 19 miles of trails – map
- Metro Area Trails System, Council Bluffs/Omaha. The Metro Area Trails System encompasses more than 120 miles of trails. The link to this handy flyer contains information on each trail; distance, location, facilities, etc.
- Ponca State Park, Ponca. 22 miles of hike/bike trails – map
- Zorinsky Lake, Omaha. 7.8 mile loop map
Farther from Omaha:
- To stray further afield, look at this website: https://www.alltrails.com/?ref=header which will give in depth info on trail systems on both sides of the Missouri River, such as E.T. Mahoney Trails, Ashland; Niobrara State Park, Niobrara; Pioneers Park Nature Center, Lincoln, in Nebraska, or Waubonsie State Park in Iowa.
- To find many other trails in the two-state area, visit: https://www.alltrails.com/us/nebraska and https://www.alltrails.com/us/iowa
Biking – Don’t own a bike? Try out the bike share system operated by the Heartland Bike Share. Enjoy a ride around the city. Many trails allow bicycles, but check the links mentioned above to be sure.
Walking – Take a pleasant walk on any of the trails mentioned above or just walk around your neighborhood. Omaha has many organized neighborhood walking tours. Here are just a couple: GPSMYCITY and Restoration Exchange Omaha
So get out there and enjoy these health benefits from being in the great outdoors:
- Thirty minutes of exercise can reduce health risk factors.
- Moderate exposure to sunlight lets your body generate Vitamin D.
- Enhanced concentration.
- Stress reduction
- Mental health – can decrease levels of anxiety, depression, and may improve cognitive function in people with dementia, Alzheimer’s and attention disorders.
Check out more information about Great Outdoors Month here: https://www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org/