If you're looking for a great way to get outdoors and keep your family healthy…
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 70 percent of Americans aren’t getting adequate amounts of physical activity each week. Spring has arrived in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, so it’s the perfect time to get active and explore our beautiful region!
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state that adults need at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as hiking or swimming, per week to stay healthy. Children need to establish an active lifestyle while still young, and the National Association for Health & Fitness recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of activity per day. Going on a hike together can be a fun and interesting way to keep the whole family in shape.
Take a Hike!
Hiking has become increasingly popular as a form of exercise, and it has been shown to help increase cardiovascular fitness, boost weight loss, develop strong muscles, and even reduce mental stress. This spring and summer, get yourself and your family fit by discovering some of the spectacular trails the Sierra Nevadas have to offer.
In the Beginning
If you are new to hiking, start out slow. Find a safe, cleared path, such as the nearby Rock Creek Nature Trail in Tahoe National Forest. An easy, short hike like this one is a great way to introduce the entire family to trails, and a fun way to get to know local flora and fauna.
As you begin to feel comfortable on the trail, graduate to more challenging degrees of difficulty. Buttermilk Bend Trail offers a 1.25-mile at Bridgeport on the South Yuba River hike each direction—with a few steep sections—and beautiful views of the South Yuba River Canyon. This trail, originally built for mining purposes in the 1800s, is great for summer, leading to several swimming holes that provide a cool oasis during a dusty day on the trail.
The Empire Mine State Historic Park has several trails, including Hardrock Trail, an easy two-mile loop for hikers only. For families with young children, a hikers-only trail, which is free of mountain bikes and horses, can make exploring a little more relaxed.
Trek around Tahoe
The Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park offers trails of varying levels of difficulty all around the lake. One of the most popular is the Marlette Flume Trail, which boasts incomparable views of the lake and forests.
If you seek the motivation of a real reward throughout your hike, following the nearly four-mile Chimney Beach Trail down to the lakeshore could be just the jaunt for you. This route also offers the option of bringing along the family pet, as long as Scruffy is on a leash.
Frequent activity is the key to remaining healthy, and getting out and about with your family or friends can be a fun way to establish healthful habits. Speak with your physician about the best ways for you to get moving in the great outdoors.