Saturday, October 20, 2012

Guest Blog Post #4: Dr. Haney on Getting Outdoors

Kaiser Permanente is the title sponsor of the 2012 Centennial Celebration Event Series and Kaiser Permanente physician Dr. Sean Haney will be sharing his thoughts as an official CMC guest blogger this year about the outdoors, medicine, wellness, and whatever else inspires him.

With fall definitely here, we are reminded of the fact that we live in a state with four seasons.  Coming from California, I grew up in a place with two seasons, one wet and one dry season.  Of course, there is some temperature variation but large parts of that state do not have anything like the seasonal variation that Colorado does.  The seasons in this great state offer unique and varied recreational opportunities for us “locals” and anyone who wants to come here.

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you need to do is….. get up, get out and enjoy this great state! Blessed as we are with the geography and climate of this state, we have a plethora of recreational activities available to us.  Let’s consider a short list: hiking, skiing, (including snowboarding, cross country) rafting, biking, climbing, snowshoeing, etc. It goes without saying that these sports are not specific to a single season, e.g. spring skiing.  We have pretty easy access here to a ton of recreational activities.

Recreational activities offer many benefits, both tangible and intangible.  The benefits of recreational activities include: 1) they are really fun, 2) help maintain a healthy weight, 3) maintain and promote balanced mental health, and 4) are a great help to our economy.  In fact, they are a very important part of the economy of this state.  

Recreational activities help generate a lot of economic activity.  The ski industry alone generated over $2.6 billion in economic activity to this state.   That is a lot of jobs and tax revenue that supports a wide variety of essential government functions.  It is not just for skiing, folks also come to our parks to hike and climb 14’ers.    We benefit economically as well as through the aforementioned ways from our many Colorado recreational opportunities.

So, perhaps we need to savior the moments when we are having fun outdoors and remember to support programs and initiatives to keep them vibrant and sustainable. Oh, we should also thank that tourist for dropping some money into our economy and make sure they taste a Colorado craft beer (in moderation, of course).

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