Spring has finally arrived. The snow is melting and the valley is beautiful — warm sunshine, flowers in bloom and lots of fresh air. It’s time to get moving, time to go hiking.
Though Utah Valley is surrounded by majestic mountains, many residents have not really explored the beauty and scenery only a short hike away. If you don’t know where to start, Intermountain Healthcare’s free Health Hub App is a great place to get some healthy hike ideas. The app is FREE and available for iOS and Android platforms. Just enter your location in the app, and it will suggest nearby hiking trails and let you know the level of difficulty you can expect on the hike.
While you’re enjoying the beautiful surroundings, you will also be reaping some great health and fitness benefits, including:
1. Improving heart, lung and blood vessel fitness
Hiking provides cardiovascular benefits. It helps strengthen your heart, lung and blood vessels and prevent heart disease. It also lowers your risk of high blood pressure.
2. Improving muscle fitness
Hiking strengthens your quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and core muscles.
3. Lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes
Regular exercise and weight loss lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Hiking burns calories and stabilizes cholesterol levels, which helps you to lose weight.
4. Reducing depression
Hiking helps release endorphins, an element in the body that helps you stay happy.
5. Improving sleep quality
Hiking also increases effects of sleep hormones — which helps improve sleep quality. Additionally, sleep quality improves when depression is reduced.
Download Intermountain Healthcare’s Health Hub App, explore a new hiking trail and start living well this spring.