Hike Your Way to Health

It’s April! Which means the sun is out, it’s getting warmer and we are one step closer to summer. The warmer, longer days provide the opportunity to get ouside – It’s a perfect time of year to go for a walk, go on a run or take a hike.
There are many great places to hike in Colorado, but one of the most popular, local locations doesn’t require driving up into the mountains. Castlewood Canyon State Park, located in Franktown, Colorado, is a great place to take your family for the day and not only get exercise, but experience Colorado’s natural beauty.
Castlewood has several trails that you can pick from. They range from .5 to 4 miles and can be combined for longer journeys. The small waterfalls provide beautiful views and wonderful rest stops. The history of Castlewood Canyon is something you don’t want to miss out on either. The Castlewood Dam, once used to help store water for parts of Denver, burst in 1933, sending a 15-foot-high wave of water into Denver. Ruins of the historic dam still exist and remain visible for hikers to see.
So, bring your family and friends, pack a lunch and spend your day at Castlewood. It’s a great way to stay active, be outside, and explore the beauty Colorado brings this time of year.
The Benefits of Putting on Your Hiking Shoes
Hiking is a great way to get exercise and it is one of the best ways to keep your metabolism moving without putting strain on your joints. The reason is that hiking is a low impact exercise; however it burns many calories, builds muscles and keeps your heart rate up.
WebMD has a list of important benefits hiking provides. Check out some of the ways you can better yourself:
  • Strengthen your leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, lower legs) and build strength in your core.
  • Improve your balance.
  • Lower your risk of heart disease and other ailments.
  • Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Improve your mood by lowering stress levels.
Not only is hiking healthy, but it’s educational. Moving around outdoors can teach you about wildlife and different plants, plus the way nature has helped the area either blossom or survive destruction.
Luckily, living in Colorado, there are many perfect places to hike with views of the mountains and the Colorado skies. Sometimes traveling a couple hours to the mountains to hike can be a longer trip than you are looking for, but there are great places to hike locally, just outside of Denver. For a list of other great local hiking areas, check out LocalHikes.comfor a list of great trails, and some of them may be located right outside your door.

And make sure to attend a 9Health Fair this spring to have your numbers checked and see if the exercise you may be incorporating into your life is paying off. Find a Fair near you and mark your calendar. Then share your hiking stories with us on Facebook!