Hike for American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and is responsible for 1 out of 4 deaths in the U.S. each year. The good news is that there are ways to help prevent heart disease and decrease your risk of death from heart disease. Physical activity helps improve your heart health. This means that outdoor pursuits, such as hiking, can help you prevent heart disease! Make a point to appreciate nature and work towards better heart health by hiking this month!

How can hiking benefit your heart?

There are numerous health benefits to physical activity. Being physically active helps lower your risk for heart disease. It also can help reduce your blood pressure, maintain proper blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy weight. Regular physical activity can decrease your risk for stroke heart attack, and other cardiac events.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, every week.

Hiking is a healthy and accessible way to get the physical activity you need to help improve heart health and prevent cardiovascular disease.

I’ve never hiked before. What do I need to do?

One of the great things about hiking is that practically anyone can do it. Young children and older adults can hike together, and people of varying levels of fitness can often share the same trails. Unlike an expensive gym membership, the costs involved to start hiking are minimal to none. While you can certainly invest a lot of money in backpacking, camping, and hiking equipment, there are tons of easy trails that don’t require anything more than a water bottle and a pair of sneakers.

If you’ve never been hiking before, here’s a good place to start.

  • Research easy hiking trails in your area. Aim for trails with distances around 2 miles or less until you get a sense of your abilities.
  • Find a friend or family member to share your hike with.
  • Pack water, snacks, and weather appropriate apparel in a small day pack.
  • Visit your local outdoor gear store to learn more about hiking!

We love to hear about travels and share stories about our adventures. Whether you want to chat about your favorite trail, or you’re looking for some information to prepare for your first ever hike, we would love to talk to you! We also carry everything you need for hiking, camping, backpacking, and more. Stop by and see us in Northwest Arkansas!

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