Anyone who’s been hiking knows few things beat the feeling of the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and a beautiful natural setting surrounding you. Whether you hit the trails alone, with a group, or with a four-legged friend, hiking is a fun activity that is not only a great way to spend a weekend but a great way to earn some mind and body benefits!
Uplands Village is surrounded by the rolling hills and open spaces of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. We encourage residents of our retirement living community in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, to get out and explore the areas around us! We’re sharing some of the health benefits of hiking and some of our favorite trails.
Hiking is a powerful cardio and aerobic activity that targets every area of your body. Some of the physical health benefits you can gain from hiking include:
- Lowering Your Risk of Heart Disease. Any type of aerobic activity, hiking included, promotes healthy aging and heart health. The brisk walking involved in hiking improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the overall risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Building Muscle and Bone Strength. Regardless of how easy or challenging your hike is, it engages almost every muscle in your lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Plus, if you wear a backpack or use trekking poles, hiking can engage the shoulder and arm muscles as well. In addition, as a weight-bearing exercise, hiking can build bone strength.
- Improving Balance. Whether you’re climbing over roots and branches or scrambling up an incline, hiking improves your balance and stability, which can prevent falls on and off the trail.
In addition to physical health benefits, hiking provides many benefits for mental wellness and healthy aging. Here are some mental health benefits of hiking:
- Improving Mood and Reducing Stress. Exercise and spending time in nature have been shown to enhance mood, and hiking is a perfect combination of both! Spending time outdoors can calm anxiety, reduce the risk of depression, and boost overall mood.
- Promoting Cognitive Functioning. As an aerobic exercise, hiking increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain, improves neural connections and enhances memory and cognitive functioning. It’s even been shown that regular exercise like hiking can reduce the risk of dementia and other memory impairments later in life.
- Building a Community. Hiking is an excellent way to forge a community and connect with old and new friends alike! Many areas have local hiking groups that host events and group hikes. Being involved in a community of like-minded individuals is a perfect way to find purpose and connectedness, increase self-esteem, and offer support.
Hiking in Cumberland County
Uplands Village is lucky to be located in such a beautiful area of natural wonders and unique topography. There is so much to see and explore, all within a short distance from our retirement community! Here are some of the hikes that you can enjoy and explore in the Pleasant Hill area and beyond.
- Lake Alice Trail: Located inside Uplands Village, the trail around Lake Alice is an easy, serene trail with views of the lake and waterfalls. This trail even includes benches to sit and enjoy and the scenery.
- Byrd Lake and Pioneer Short Loop Trail: This trail is located in Cumberland Mountain State Park and is an easy, accessible trail for large groups. It features a lake with wooden bridges and beautiful views.
- Black Mountain Crest Loop Trail: This short and easy hike ends with a beautiful scenic view overlooking the Tennessee Valley and the Great Smoky Mountains.
- Seven Bridges Trail: This is an easy and peaceful loop trail located in Crossville, Tennessee. It crosses over seven bridges in a secluded, forest-like setting.
Hit The Trails!
Hiking is a fun, adventurous hobby that anyone, anywhere, can enjoy! Not only does hiking allow you to explore new places and experience the great outdoors, but it also provides many benefits to mental and physical health, promoting general wellness and healthy aging.
Uplands Village is a retirement living community in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, between Cookeville and Crossville, Tennessee. Our Cumberland County community is nestled amongst tranquil forests, rolling hills, and peaceful lakes—some even in our community itself! To discover more about our 500-acre community, visit our website!