Hiking for Wellness

One of the most powerful ways to impact physical and mental health is to spend time in nature. Hiking trails are a great way to experience the beauty all over the country, get away from traffic, enjoy the seasons, and take a mini vacation. Rolling Strong wellness offers its members access to AllTrails, a powerful application that is provided through the Rolling Strong mobile app.  AllTrails offers access to over 300,000 hand-curated trail maps with reviews, photos, and even filters for kid-friendly and dog-friendly trails.  It is a helpful way to find places to walk, hike, and bike all over the US. Use it to find trails near home, nearby a current location, or plan a hike for an upcoming trip.

Are you a Rolling Strong wellness member?  Rolling Strong Wellness offers state-of-the-art wellness technology and wellness programs to the transportation industry, corporate entities, and even individual users.  We so believe in the many wellness benefits of hiking that we include access to the AllTrails app right with our own mobile app.  Professional drivers often have a difficult time fitting exercise in while on the road.  AllTrails offers a means to find trails close by no matter where you are while on the road or if you simply want some time in nature.

 How does hiking affect your health and well-being?

Science has proven that the benefits of hiking and spending time in nature are numerous:

  • Natural light helps improve circadian rhythms, provides Vitamin D, and may improve healing.
  • Time in nature relieves stress, the focus on the wind, trees, and the curves in the trail allows a break from worries and helps keep them in perspective.
  • Exercising outdoors on a trail doesn’t feel like exercise, but more like play. You will tend to hike or bike longer because it is fun.
  • Studies show exercise outdoors lengthens lifespan if you hike the trails in Texas, Colorado, Georgia, West Virginia, or California. People who exercise outdoors outlive others. They complain less about aches and pains and sleep better.
  • Time in nature increases white blood cells which improve immune function and the ability to fight illness and disease.
  • People who exercise outdoors are generally happier.

 

Find the AllTrails access right within the Rolling Strong mobile app in the fitness section.  If you create an account on AllTrails, you can then allow AllTrails to use your location, and the app will automatically pull up trails nearby. You’ll be amazed at how many hidden adventures are close by!

You can filter hikes for distance from current location, type of activity (hiking, biking, or running) difficulty, length, elevation gain, dog-friendly trails, kid-friendly trails, attractions like lakes or waterfalls, route type like a loop or out and back, and the rating given the hike by users. Filter for 3 miles, loop, rated moderate and allows dogs on a leash. Loop trails are nice because you won’t see the same scenery twice.

You can even view the details of any hike for more information.  You can check for directions to the trailhead, description of the hike, trail features (like flowers, bridges, etc.), type of route

Conditions, the weather for the next few days, user ratings and reviews, and even get a downloadable map of the trail

It is very helpful to read other users’ reviews. Often the reviews were written a few days ago, offering a glimpse at the trail conditions. Reviewers give more detail on the difficulty level, to allow for better trial selection. Reading reviews is very helpful when picking a trail.

AllTrails presents great maps for each trail. Here’s a great tip: Screenshot or download the map in case you don’t have cell service out on the trail. Some trails are not marked well, so having a map is key. There is a navigation tool if cell service is available.

Another nice feature of AllTrails is the ability to save trails on lists. Visiting Grand Junction, Colorado next month? Search ahead of time. Save the trails to hike. Bikers can filter for bike-friendly trails (not allowed everywhere). Best to filter for “dogs allowed” before bringing Fido.

Create an AllTrails account and prepare for upcoming visits to the great outdoors. There are trails in all states in the US. Take a break from the usual and hike, or bike on a dirt trail. Make sure to log the adventure in the Rolling Strong app!

 

“Of all the paths you choose in life, make sure a few of them are dirt!” – John Muir

 

Read 12 Top Benefits of Hiking to learn more. Also, check out Wear a Helmet When You Bike.

 

 

by Christy Coughlln, Wellness Coach