Rx for Trails

EJ Porth  |   Wednesday Oct. 21st, 2015

GVLT has started a pilot phase of the TrailsRx program, an innovative partnership with medical providers to encourage trail use among patients. Many of the people who could benefit most from outdoor physical activity have never done it before or feel uncomfortable trying it for the first time. The TrailsRx program is a way for providers to not only suggest physical activity, but give patients the tools and resources they need to follow through. It is much easier to hold a patient accountable to a prescription for a trail walk than a suggestion of physical activity. The TrailsRx program supplies the provider with the materials they need such a map with one mile loops identified and a physical activity log. On the maps, the provider can actually prescribe walks like ‘Peets Hill loop, three times a week for 2 months’. The maps are divided up into four sections of town so that the provider can identify where their patient is most likely to use the trail, near work or near home.

By providing tailored maps and identified loops, much of the intimidation and barriers around accessing trails are removed. We’re lucky in Bozeman, we have 80 miles of trails that are totally free and accessible to anyone in our community. The TrailsRx program empowers medical providers and their patients to see our community trails as a supplement to traditional medication and a pathway to a healthy life.

If you know a medical provider who would be interested in partnering with GVLT on the TrailsRx program, contact ej@gvlt.org. GVLT is sponsoring this program so it is free of charge to providers and patients.    

About the Author(s)

EJ Porth

Communications and Outreach Manager at the Gallatin Valley Land Trust. She helps protect the exceptional quality of life we enjoy in the Gallatin Valley.

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