RM | OUTDOORS The Outdoors Are Still Open Enjoying Missouri's natural beauty good for the heart, head and soul by Zach Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org From the prairies to the woods to the waters, Missouri's conservation areas and other public lands offer opportunities for all tastes. 40 RURAL MISSOURI | MAY 2020 I t's difﬁcult to overstate the beneﬁts of an outdoor adventure. Something as simple as a walk in the woods carries the health beneﬁts of physical exercise, from reducing risk associated with certain diseases to helping you sleep. But the outdoors also recharges our batteries in another way. According to the American Heart Association, studies have shown spending time in nature has a positive effect on mental health including alleviating stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression while at the same time boosting our feelings of joy and well-being.