Ten metro Atlanta organizations are partnering with recreation retailer REI for a social media campaign encouraging residents to hike, walk or jog on 10 trails in their 10 greenspaces over the next 10 months.

The Hikes for Health Challenge, which is kicking off in August (National Wellness Month), runs through May.

The participating organizations, which are in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties, are: the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, the Chastain Park Conservancy, the Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy, the Chattahoochee Nature Center, the Dunwoody Nature Center, the Friends of Lost Corner, Livable Buckhead, Parks Cobb County, the Peachtree Creek Greenway and the Sandy Springs Conservancy. Each nonprofit has helped improve its community’s qualify of life through the development of trails, parks and greenspaces.

The challenge comes at a time when individuals are at home more than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, these organizations see their trails as part of a prescription for better physical and mental health and a stronger life.

According to a news release, hiking outdoors has been proven in studies to promote heart health, weight reduction and cholesterol control for adults. Physical activity in nature boosts muscular and brain development, creativity and mental well-being in children.

Participants must register for the challenge by Aug. 31 to qualify for the grand prize of a $250 REI gift card and items from the greenspace organizations. Once registered, they are encouraged to use #HikesForHealthREI in social media postings after walking, jogging or hiking on a trail from each greenspace organization.

In the spring the grand prize winner will be chosen and announced.

For more information or to register, visit hikesforhealthchallenge.splashthat.com, one of the organizations’ websites or use the link featured in social media postings for participating organizations and in REI newsletters.

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