Trails are a health enhancement system. They are the circulatory system of a healthy community as they provide a comfortable space to walk, hike or bike .
They connect you with the great outdoors and the healthy benefits of nature.
Trails users enjoy increased health benefits which lead to reduced health costs, not only to us, but to our health care system as well.
Regular exercise is needed for good cardiovascular health. A good 30 minute hike will reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Walking is a weight bearing exercise which will boost bone density, and doing so on soft trail surfaces will mean that your joints also benefit.
You can tone your quads, glutes and hamstrings on the undulating trails, and various surveys and cost analysis have shown that for each dollar spent on building and maintaining trail, about three dollars are realized in reduced health care costs.
Trails provide opportunity to experience nature and its soothing benefits. The fresh air and peacefulness will improve your feeling of being well, as we get to step into nature and boost your energy.
Getting outside is free, requires no special equipment and does relieve stress.
Nature heals, soothes, restores and relaxes, and greenspace within 1 km of your home results in being less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
Trails provide opportunities to discover local sites and realize local culture.
They give us more chances for social interactions and thereby improve the feeling of neighbourhood and give an improved self-image, reduced crime and cleaner lifestyle.
Trails even encourages youths to find entertainment in healthy and wholesome pursuits.
Trails provide us an opportunity to immerse in nature and become more aware of the value of wilderness. They are a catalyst for our heightened environmental awareness. They focus your thoughts on what will be lost to global warming, unless action starts now.
Trails protect our ecosystem by greatly reducing illegal routes that often cause severe erosion. The trails keep people out of environmentally sensitive areas (ESA).
Look at www.squamish.ca/esa mapping to see that most of our watersheds and estuaries are sensitive areas.
Trails give greater context to active aging for seniors and moderate physical activity is a sure way to stay fit.
At least 30 minutes each day is known to extend life span, reduce the risk of falls, improve balance , aid agility , slow osteoporosis , prevent muscle loss and delay the onset of cognitive decline .
A trail attracts visitors from all over to enjoy pristine walks in nature, and brings dollars to our Outdoor Recreational Capital of Canada.
Routing and interpretive signs are designed to enhance this experience. www.squamish.ca/official community plan 2040.
This bylaw places strong emphasis on health and trail use. Choose a trail that’s right for you and enjoy!!
Jim Gracie is a member of the Squamish Trails Society.