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The Health Benefits of the Outdoors

Local Parks to Keep You Moving!

In a modern, highly digital world, it’s easy to become disconnected from nature. With the new year upon us and cooler weather in the air, what better time than now to incorporate a routine that benefits all aspects of your life?

The health benefits of being in nature are quite astonishing, studies show. Researchers have linked exposure to the outdoors with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and asthma hospitalizations. Scientists are still figuring out which mechanisms are responsible for these positive effects, but it's possible that they have something to do with the enhanced immune function and vitamin D production that is also associated with time spent outdoors. In patients recovering from surgery, nature has even been shown to have a positive effect on their pain management recovery.

Let’s talk about mental health. As you may assume, spending time outside is highly beneficial for your brain. Exposure to nature has been proven to lead to better cognitive function in several studies. It's also been shown to decrease stress and boost happiness, both of which are imperative to maintaining good mental health and fighting depression and anxiety. One study showed a significantly lower risk of psychiatric disorders (such as depression, mood disorders, and schizophrenia) in children who grew up with more access to nature.

If you’re still not convinced to hop off the couch and take your dog for a walk, let’s continue. We all know that outdoor activities require physical activity, therefore burning calories. Even low-intensity activities like walking help you maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle and improve sleep quality.

According to one study, spending just two hours a week in nature is correlated with significant increases in health and well-being. Divided up, that comes out to just under half an hour each day.

  • Reimers Ranch Park, Climber's Canyon

We are fortunate to have a plethora of outdoor activities at our disposal here in Dripping Springs.

Reimers Ranch Park

23610 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs

Within the 2,427 acres, activities include hiking, fishing, guided tours, mountain biking, swimming, rock climbing, monthly bird walks, equestrian trails, and an astronomical observatory.

Charro Ranch Park

22690 W. FM 150, Driftwood

The 64-acre park is used for trail walks, sports training, and educational purposes. It also has areas designated for reflection.

Dripping Springs Ranch Park

1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs

Ranch Park has 130 acres filled with wildlife and lush trees and 6 miles of hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking trails.

Founders Memorial Park

480 Founders Park Rd, Dripping Springs

A midsize local park with amenities that include a playground, swimming pool, hiking trails, biking trails, and a wildlife viewing area.