Go for a hike!
With the recent weather we have been having, it is a great time to get outdoors. There are many opportunities around Twin Falls where you can go for a nice hike. Hiking is a great way to exercise. Staying active is necessary to live a healthy life. Christy Hall, PTA wrote in an earlier blog it is recommended to get 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. See: From Sedentary to Exercise.
The benefits of going on a hike are plentiful:
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Improves blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Boosts bone density
- Develops strength throughout your hips and lower legs.
- Strengthens your core
- Improves balance and proprioception
In addition to the many physical benefits, hiking can also boost your mood. "Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety," says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society. "Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that." Hiking is a wonderful activity which may be tailored to your individual fitness level.
There is a great beginner hiking trail at Dierkes Lake. It is a beautiful place to go for a light hike around the lake. You will find a well maintained trail system that is currently undergoing some great improvements. Map: Dierkes Lake Park.
If you are looking for a more advanced hiking trail you can hike along the Morgensen Trail, which begins at the parking lot just before the gate into Centennial Waterfront Park. Depending on the time of year, trail conditions may be muddy. At stream crossings you might get a little wet if you miss step. Park your car, look for the sign and follow the path. It leads down to some old metal stairs. Continue hiking towards the Perrine Bridge, along this trail there many cascading waterfalls. Continue along the path, passing under the bridge. You will come to a foot-bridge, then an open area with less boulders where there is a Memorial and American Flag. Watch for BASE jumpers, as this is a common landing zone for them. You may even pass some jumpers or other hikers on this moderately challenging trail.
Always remember to be safe while hiking, bring a friend or go with a group. It’s best not to hike alone at first, especially on unfamiliar or remote trails. A friend or group can help you navigate and assist if an injury occurs. It’s a good idea to get familiar with the trail by using a map or if possible your “smart” phone’s map applications. Also, you should check the weather where you plan to hike. You need to dress and pack accordingly when going hiking.
So, if the weather continues to give us nice mild temperatures and the wind doesn’t blow to hard, get out and hike around the Magic Valley. More information on local community trails and parks can be found here: Twin Falls Outdoor Recreation
Marc Lambert, DPT