One of southern Ontario’s most stunning outdoor attractions is the Greater Niagara Circle Route, a 140-kilometre stretch of interconnected trails.
As families, couples and other community members seek unique ways to experience Niagara’s natural beauty — and as visitors flock to the region for weekend adventures and longer-term vacations — public health experts are promoting the benefits of outdoor activity.“Simply being outdoors can lower cortisol levels,” said Dr. Joanne Kearon, a family doctor and resident physician with Niagara Region Public Health, referring to the natural hormone that helps regulate stress. “Free access to high quality green spaces, such as the Greater Niagara Circle Route, enables all residents and visitors to get some physical activity if paying for a gym isn’t an option.”Indoor exercise also has clear and obvious health benefits, but Kearon notes outdoor activity has unique advantages.
“Regular time outdoors has been shown to lower blood pressure as well as promote positive mental health,” she added. “In some studies, areas with more access to green space had lower rates of diabetes, so physical activity outdoors can definitely be beneficial.”
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