The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day. The day is sponsored by the American Heart Association to encourage people to walk for at least 30 minutes to improve their health. Walking is easy and accessible with many choices of local parks, neighborhoods, and trails to get your blood pumping and muscles stretching. A walk outside will help build Vitamin D which helps the immune system. Your furry companions will love to get out as well. Tune into your favorite playlist or the sounds around you. Remember to stretch before and after, move your arms, and work on your posture along the way.
For a more natural adventure, consider taking a spring hike. With Conservation Areas and State Parks across the state, you can find a trail near you to immerse in nature and enjoy early spring blooms. Hiking is one of the best ways to get healthy and happy. Bring the family or friends along with you.
Besides enjoying nature’s surround sounds and fresh scents, you may boost your brain power and creative thinking.
The uneven terrain of paths that wind up, down, and sideways, work a variety muscle groups and can help with overall balance. Hikers report benefits like weight loss, stress relief, better sleep, and more positive thoughts.
New hikers can start out slow and build up with a variety of trails and scenery on Conservation areas, from short walks to more moderate hikes. Bring a buddy for safety and companionship. You can also join a hiking club. Be prepared and stay hydrated. Enjoy healthy and happy trails this spring.
Heading out on a hiking adventure? Keep in mind these tips:
- Plan with safety in mind. Carry a map and compass, pack water and extra food, and pack a first aid kit.
- Before your hike, always check the weather to avoid rainstorms.
- Be sure to wear the right shoes!
- Leave no trace. Collect your trash and properly dispose of it. Do not litter on trails.
- Hiking a trail for the first time or with younger children? Plan for extra time and keep in mind a goal — maybe it is a trail feature or a mileage. A shorter hike with opportunities to stop and explore is a successful hike with children.
For more hiking tips, check out this guide from The Wilderness Society.