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Hike Toward Health

Doctors know that spending time in nature can help your muscles grow stronger, your brain become smarter, and make you feel better about yourself. This brochure has activities to strengthen all three areas of health.

All three areas of health work together to help you feel your best. Best of all, you can take these health benefits with you to any part of your life!

Cognitive Health: Train Your Brain

When you spend time outside, you see, hear and smell things. You make discoveries: crystals in a rock, a bird singing a song, or wildflowers blooming... and you improve your cognitive health! (you become smarter!)

Let’s make some discoveries about flowers! Find a flower... Smell it. Look at it closely. Can you find the different parts of the flower?

Look closely at a flower and tap to highlight each part you find.

Sepal Petals Stem Filament Anther Style Ovary Stigma




Q. Which of these structures is part of the Stamen?

Physical Health: Active Lifestyle

When you go for a walk, hike, bike ride, or run around, your heart beats faster, your muscles work... and you improve your physical health!

During your adventure, discover how athletic animals train by doing a few of their exercises:

 Hummingbird Hand Swings

Look for hummingbirds feeding on flowers around woodland edges and fields. Hummingbirds flap their wings over 50 times per second! That's a thousand wing-beats in 20 seconds.

How many times can you flap your arms in 20 seconds?

 Cottontail Dash

Watch for cottontail rabbits feeding in grassy areas. Rabbits are a favorite food of coyotes, foxes and hawks. When being chased, rabbits sprint in a fast zig-zag pattern until they find cover.

Run as fast as you can for 15 seconds and then find something to hide behind!

Emotional Health: Serene Green

Studies show that simply viewing pictures of nature can reduce stress levels and improve emotional health... Imagine what spending time outdoors can do!

In this activity, take fifteen minutes to relax and observe the trees around you. Can you find trees with these types of leaves? How many other shades of green make up the scene?


  • Simple Broad

    One leaf per stem

  • Compound Broad

    Multiple leaves per stem

  • Needle

    Single (fir, spruce) or bundles (pine)

  • Scale

    Overlapping leaves (scales) along branch.

Still have time? Relax and soak in the benefits of just being outside.

When you finish your hike, tap the button below to TRACK your adventure!