August 9, 2017 – It’s easy to see how Colorado’s Grand Valley got its name – just take one look around. The recent release of Another Grand Day illustrates just how many outdoor opportunities await us!  We often take these places for granted, forgetting what is out our own back door. Ironic, since visitors from around the world come with the idea of playing like a local.

Busy schedules often lead us thinking it would be nice to have a Grand Day but we just don’t have the time. The important thing to remember is that you don’t need a day to take advantage of all the Grand Valley has to offer. Fresh air is good for our minds and bodies. Numerous studies have shown that exercise in natural environments is associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement.  How lucky are we to have this free, amazing connection out our back door?

Whether it is an hour, 30 minutes or even a 15-minute break, take the time to get outdoors and connect.

Need some grand ideas to get you started?

If you have an hour

  • Hit the Riverfront Trail – the trail has paved trails that are walkable and bikeable for any fitness level. Check out the Riverfront Commission’s website for maps and current events.
  • Pack a picnic – an easy outing that can happen well into fall. An hour is plenty of time to detour from your ordinary and enjoy the scenery.
  • Visit a park – we are lucky to have so many options to choose from. The City of Grand Junction, Mesa County and CO Parks & Wildlife have listings on their websites with directions and hours of operation.
  • Drive over the Monument – what a view and just a short drive from town. When you long for a vacation with exotic vistas, but you can’t, this is the perfect place to go!
  • Visit an orchard or vineyard –this is the best time of year to live in Mesa County. There is nothing better tasting than produce from farm to table. Need directions? Check out the Fruit & Wine Byway.

If you have 30 minutes

  • Take your meal outside – for some reason food tastes better outdoors. At the office or at home, pick up your plate, head out and enjoy!
  • Go to a Farmer’s Market – we are so lucky to have markets across the valley. Check out the Fruita, Grand Junction and Palisade sites for locations and times.
  • Take an evening stroll – this is a great time of day to relax and connect with a friend or family member. Walk, talk and unwind

If you have 15 minutes or less

  • Watch a sunrise or sunset – just taking the time to enjoy our beautiful horizons is a great reset.
  • Take a quick walk – short on time? Fifteen minutes is still long enough to get some fresh air.
  • Unplug and pause – take time for a breath. Push away from whatever you’re doing and unplug. Sit on the front step, stand on the balcony or take a seat on the porch to get outside, take some deep breaths and enjoy the moment.

Make the time to enjoy what the Grand Valley has to offer. Whether you have an entire day or a just few minutes, play like a local. Connect with friends, connect with the outdoors and give your mind and body time to reset and refresh – your health depends upon it!

About the Author

Jeff Kuhr, PhD, is Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health in Grand Junction, Colo. He has served as a local public health agency director in Nebraska and Colorado for the past 11 years.

Mesa County Public Health, formed in 1947, provides a wide range of public and environmental health services to Mesa County residents and, in some programs, the region.


Mesa County Public Health is a proud sponsor of “Another Grand Day” – visit to learn more.






Photo credits: Feature image (#1) and #4 courtesy Devon Balet | #2 taken from “Another Grand Day” via Vitality Films | #3 courtesy Field to Fork Farms.