Urban green spaces help reduce stress close to home

Written by on May 31, 2022

Urban green spaces help reduce stress close to home

By Brittany Sweeney
May 31, 2022

Walking Purchase Park connects Allentown and Bethlehem. (Photo | WLVR)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – If you live in an urban area, it may not always be easy to enjoy the great outdoors. 

However, there are some spots in the Lehigh Valley that provide immediate connections to nature. 

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A 15- to 20-minute walk outside is proven to help boost your mood and lower your blood pressure, according to Connor Moriarty, a nature enthusiast and the founder of Reset Outdoors, an organization that uses nature in its therapy practices. 

“The first thing is it reduces our stress and in as little as five minutes, the stress hormone cortisol starts to reduce measurably in our bodies,” Moriarty said, “That’s a powerful shift that you may not necessarily be cognitively aware of, but physiologically, things are changing.”  

The Valley has some great clean walking trails that accommodate beginners or experienced hikers.

There’s Walking Purchase Park, which connects Bethlehem and Allentown. Also, the Wildlands Conservancy in Emmaus, Jacobsburg State Park  in Nazareth, and the Trexler Game Preserve west of Allentown.

Moriarty suggests wearing comfortable shoes and clothing, taking along a water bottle, and packing some bug spray.

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