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OPINION

Health and Wellness: Relaxing Autumn Walk

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department

To change up your efforts to walk more, try walking where you can enjoy the beautiful fall colors and perhaps spot some woodland animals and birds.

There are flat, paved recreational trails throughout Dallas County, including trails within city limits and trails connecting towns. These are not just for bicycles! If you’ve never been to the Dallas County Arboretum near Dallas Center, give this a try for a nature walk. More challenging trails are at Kuehn Conservation area and Voas Nature Area (see https://www.dallascountyiowa.gov/services/conservation-and-recreation/conservation/conservation-area-brochures-and-maps).

Even if you live in town and don’t want to drive somewhere to take a walk, you can enjoy the relaxation of enjoying nature in your neighborhood. Look closely. Take out the earbuds and listen. You may hear birds, squirrels and the wind moving the trees.

A nature walk is great for children. Many kiddos spend little time connecting to nature. Taking children of all ages on walks is a great way to introduce them to their environment, and is a wonderful way to promote observation and language skills. Children also enjoy learning basic photography by taking pictures of plants, birds and animals they encounter on walks. Check the fun ideas at https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Educator-Tools.