Photograph by Robin Conover
It’s that time of year when we are already looking forward to longer and warmer days ahead. We’ve been waiting months to feel the sun’s warmth back on our skin after a winter of quiet hibernation. With the temperatures rising and days stretching, it’s time to lace up and go for a healthy walk.
There are more workout classes than ever before, mostly keeping us indoors. Spring is a great time to blend those workouts in with some Vitamin Nature. Spending time outdoors in nature is not only good for the body, but even better for the brain. According to a The National Institute of Health, the simple act of walking outdoors boosts creativity by 81%. Even spending just 15-20 minutes outside each day can help boost your immunity and elevate depression, as well as strengthen cognition, decrease stress (can we get an amen?), increase morale and regulate blood flow. I recommend that people go for a walk every day for at least 15 minutes. Try going without your earbuds in so you can truly take in the sights and sounds of the beauty around you.
Want to make this one of your healthy habits going forward? Grab a friend and commit to meeting twice a week to get outside to walk, talk and enjoy the scenery. I like to call it Nature Hour, instead of Happy Hour. Nature Hour is better for you on so many levels, and your body and brain will thank you for it both short term and even more importantly, long term.
The hills of Tennessee offer some lovely parks to get us outdoors and feeling ready for spring! Here is a handful of our favorites:
Edwin Warner has some of the best hikes that the Nashville area has to offer, with their Harpeth Woods Trail being one of my favorites. The 2.5 mile loop has vigorous hills that make for quite a workout, especially as the weather warms up!
We all know Percy by the hill of stairs that lead up to the hikes and loops. These steps make for a fantastic (and scenic) workout. Pro tip: You don’t have to just run the steps to maximize your workout. When walking up the steps, keep your weight in your heels to get a good glute workout in.
Sometimes in landlocked Nashville, we just want to be around some water. Radnor Lake has a beautiful trail that winds through woods and along the lake that will surely to refresh your mind and body.
There are several Greenway trails scattered around the area that make for great walks and runs. There are over 190 miles of trails in Davidson County, and the trails are well-kept because Nashville places a high priority on protecting and linking open space and building greenway trails around the city. My favorite portion can be accessed via Murphy Road in West Nashville.
Lucky for us, not all the hikes and trails are in the city. Brentwood has a ton of trails and greenways of their own. In fact, Brentwood has 14 parks dedicated to people (and their dogs!). Need a map view to find the closest location to you? Look no further, we’ve got you.
To make sure you make the best of these hikes, I recommend a few key items to keep you feeling good on your walks outside:
Merrell Sneakers | Bare Access Flex Shield Sneakers
These sneakers are a lifesaver and protect your feet from the elements. They are also great for grabbing the ground, which is extremely helpful when the ground is slick or slippery. These sneakers are great for those Percy trails or the Greenway sidewalks.
Athleta Pants | Camo Contender 7/8 Tight
Athleta pants will ensure that your long walks will keep your legs protected no matter how far you go or how the temperatures fluctuate. The side zipper will hold your keys/phones in place during those long walks.
Run Lights Gloves | Run Lights Full Fleece Gloves with LED lights
If you are walking early in the morning or in the evening, these gloves with lights are the best and safest addition to your wardrobe. You can buy the lights to add to any gloves you already own or buy the gloves and lights together.
Skin | Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream
Don’t forget your skin! No matter what time of day you go outside for that walk or hike, make sure you put on a good moisturizer. Make sure the moisturizer helps protect the skin from the elements (SPF!) and boosts hydration.
Spring Jacket | Free Country
A great jacket that covers and keeps you dry without feeling restricted. Spring might be full of showers but we don’t want this to be an excuse not to get outside for a great walk. This jacket is great for those days outside no matter the temps or precipitation.
There you have it, friends. Now we have no excuses not to get out and about this spring and soak up the sun that we’ve been missing so much.