Footsteps to Fitness
Surround yourself with nature for a great workout.
Hit the trail now for a refreshing change of pace. Whether you go for an afternoon stroll or an all-day hike, let the rich blue skies, awesome foliage, and sweet fall air energize you.
Keep on Trekking
Footpaths come in all sizes, types, and levels of difficulty--some lead to great vistas while others follow meandering streams. Whether tucked in an urban setting or deep within a national forest, these trails can power up your fitness routine in a number of ways.
- Scenic walkways provide an ever-changing setting to stave off workout boredom.
- Wearing a backpack on longer excursions burns extra calories.
- Hiking or walking on hills helps build stamina and muscles, both good for your heart.
- Urban paths inspire people to get moving in a comfortable setting without concern for traffic.
- Looking at beautiful scenery can take your mind off the physical exertion.
Above all, walking on trails offers more than a pathway to fitness. It opens up a world of sensory pleasure and an appreciation for the environment.
Tips To Remember
- Stay on the trail for safety's sake.
- Bring water for longer hikes. All-day backpackers need at least 2 to 3 quarts.
- Check the forecast, and dress in layers for fickle fall weather.
- Stretch gently before and after hiking.
Wish I Was Here
Here are a few of our staff members' favorite trails.
- Ruffner Mountain Nature Center: Birmingham; www.ruffnermountain.org
- Sugar Loaf Mountain National Recreational Trail: Greers Ferry Lake; www.greersferrylake.org
- Flatwoods Wilderness Park: near Tampa Bay; (813) 987-6211
- Black Rock Mountain: near Clayton; www.gastateparks.org/info/blackrock
- Chattahoochee River Trails: near Atlanta; www.nps.gov/chat
- Cherokee Park: Louisville; www.olmstedparks.org
- Red River Gorge: near Lexington; www.redrivergorge.com
- Billy Goat Trail: near Potomac; (301) 767-3714
- Katy Trail State Park: near Columbia; 1-800-334-6946
- Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest: near Robbinsville; www.main.nc.us/graham/hiking/joycekil.html
- Pisgah National Forest: near Asheville; (828) 257-4200
- Anne Springs Close Greenway: near Rock Hill; (803) 548-7252
- I'On Village Walk: near Charleston; www.ioncommunity.com
- Chattanooga River Walk: (423) 643-6888
- Radnor Lake Trails: near Nashville; www.radnorlake.org
- Wintergreen Trail System: near Charlottesville; www.wintergreenresort.com
- Rock Creek Park: www.nps.gov/rocr
- Accessible trails help build healthy communities by providing cost-effective places where anyone can exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
- Walking and other gentle forms of physical activity reduce arthritis pain and disability.