Preserving wild places leaves room to exercise

Obesity rates in Maine have risen in the past years, and as a health professional I am confronted with it every day. One way to curb obesity rates is to spend more time outside, experiencing our shared public lands.

When people spend time hiking in wild places, they not only get the chance to experience nature, but they also take steps toward losing weight.

Right now, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have the opportunity to vote for dozens of conservation measures -- including 21 wilderness and wildland protection bills -- that will preserve our land and waters, and enable us to enjoy the places we love for generations to come.

By voting to support these bills, they will be voting for Mainers and our nation's health.