Let’s Get Moving

April is Healthy People Healthy Trails Month

Improving Health and Well-Being

The benefits of physical activity and movement are well-known and understood. We know being physically active improves our overall health and well-being, helps us cope better with everyday stressors, and supports our goal of living long and fulfilling lives. In our busy world, however, many of us are challenged to find the time or resources to incorporate regular activity into our day.

And we are not alone. Levels of inactivity and sedentary behaviors are issues facing the entire country. Here in Santa Barbara County, we are taking steps to meet this challenge head-on through the Healthy People Healthy Trails initiative.

What is the Healthy People Healthy Trails Initiative?

Healthy People Healthy Trails is a Countywide collaborative working with healthcare providers and land/recreation organizations to encourage and support community members’ public health and welfare by aiding and increasing equitable access to nature and enjoying trails, parks, and open spaces space for all.

Being physically active and moving helps us prevent and manage chronic illnesses. It makes us happier and allows us to do better at school and work. It builds stronger communities and keeps the economy healthy, too.

According to the American Heart Association, adults should receive 150 minutes per week (two and a half hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, hiking, jogging, or cycling. Kids 6 to 17 should get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. In addition, recent research shows that exposure to nature and exercise outdoors has significant health benefits, including improved mental health, reduced stress, and lower blood pressure.

However, over 75 percent of American adults do not meet these guidelines. Santa Barbara County adults also fall short of meeting them. We all need to move more—and sit less—more often. That’s what Healthy People Healthy Trails is all about.

How can we get moving?

We need to start thinking about movement and physical activity differently.

Organized sports and recreation are excellent, but adding more physical activity to our day can be as simple as walking to school, around our workplace, and in our neighborhoods, or even exploring nearby parks, trails, and open spaces. No membership fee is required! Healthy People Healthy Trails supports community-sponsored programs in our communities that:

  • Help young and old find more ways to join in outdoor activities that fit our lifestyles, abilities, and interests
  • Remove barriers that keep some people from participating
  • Consider the needs of the less active, aging, and other groups

What are we trying to achieve?

We want to help members of our community to be more active in their everyday lives. We will do this by improving and increasing their opportunities to be active in their communities, workplaces, and schools and spending time in nature in parks, on trails, and in open spaces.


Healthy People Healthy Trails Month allows for further awareness, education, collaboration, and an increase of outdoor activities through promoting the exploration of amazing places, discovering stories of history and culture, and the growing movement of healthcare providers referring patients to venture outside to improve their health and well-being. For more information, see our Events Calendar.

lead an active lifestyle