The U.S. Forest Service, Indiana University (IU) Health, and the IU Center for Rural Engagement have joined forces to promote the health benefits of nature and are offering a series of “Healthy Hoosier Hikes” this fall. Each guided hike will take place on a Hoosier National Forest trail, have a wellness theme, and a medical professional associated with IU Health will be on hand for conversation and questions. The community hikes all begin at 12:30 p.m. and are scheduled for September 28, October 5, 12 and 26. Hikes will last up to three hours. Registration is required as space is limited. Visit https://wellnessoutinghikes.eventbrite.com. The partner organizations have a goal of improving community health by promoting physical activities in natural settings and creating awareness of the physical and mental health benefits of being in nature. Studies show that being in nature reduces stress, improves mood and mental performance, inspires creativity, and may lead to longer lifespans. Physical activities such as hiking, biking or running, improve physical and mental health. Hoosier National Forest provides over 260 miles of trails for public access to nature between Monroe Reservoir and the Ohio River.


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