Fitness in the Forest Preserves

Natural areas like the prairies, woodlands, lakes and rivers of the Champaign County Forest

Preserve District afford rich opportunities to practice a healthy lifestyle – all while enjoying natural beauty.

 Popular opportunities to get active include:

• Nature trails and multi-use trails

• Homer Lake Natural Playscape and traditional playgrounds

• Boating on lakes and rivers

• Lake of the Woods Golf Course

• Camping (available at our Middle Fork River Preserve)

Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, equal to or greater in importance even than the number of calories you eat! One study found that physical activity along with a balanced diet appears to be the best combination for decreasing weight and improving glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity (Kriska, 1997). Another reported that the prevalence of obesity is more strongly related to a lack of physical activity than to increases in caloric intake (Welk & Blair, 2000).


Being physically active also promotes health benefits such as: lower blood pressure, reduced arthritis pain, and diminished risk of diseases like osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. In addition, studies have shown that being active outdoors has even more added benefits!

In an age where an estimated 7 in 10 American adults are not regularly active during their leisure time and 4 in 10 are not active at all (Schoenborn, 2002), the Forest Preserves provide an important service to society.

 We invite you to stop by a Forest Preserve today – as you ‘move’ your way toward a healthier happier you!