To learn about safe practices currently recommended by the CDC and the World Health Organization, please visit Covenant Health’s main web page.
You’re never too old to go exploring and never too far away from a great place to explore if you live in or near Knoxville, Tennessee.
The benefits of exercise have been well documented, and one of them is a boost in the immune system. That’s something we can all use, especially during a time when there are global health concerns.
It’s also well documented (and makes sense) that disease is less likely to spread when we are outside more and in enclosed spaces less.
So grab a friend or a few family members and spread out in the sunshine!
Outside Your Door
The first step to adventure is the one you take out the door of your home or work place. Even just a few minutes of walking can improve your mood, your thought processes and set the course for better physical health.
Start with a lap around your home or workplace. Then increase it to five minutes of walking or more. For an extra challenge, switch back and forth between walking at a regular pace and walking at a more brisk pace.
If you have an exercise band, bring it outside!
If you’re at home and you have kids in tow, bring them along! Let them ride bikes or scooters alongside you – or push a stroller for an extra workout!
Playtime at the Park
When we’re adults we often forget about the simple pleasures that are special events to children. Pack a picnic and head to a local park. Spread out your own, clean blanket and enjoy a feast, then enjoy some playtime together.
Our parks also have wonderful walking trails, so you may want to bring the kids’ bikes or scooters along.
By the way, picnics are fun for solo acts, too. You don’t have to be part of a family or part of a group to enjoy eating outside.
For an extensive list of local parks and waterways in Knoxville and surrounding counties, visit www.outdoorknoxville.com.
Take a Hike
Hiking is a great way to experience our beautiful parks. For more than two decades, Missy has led hikes throughout East Tennessee. She offers up some tips to make your trail adventure the best it can be.
Tips and Reminders:
- Always start with a healthy breakfast!
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts can be helpful for those who are prone to bug bites or allergic to poison ivy.
- Bring water, a hearty snack, sunscreen, insect repellent, and hiking poles if you need them.
- Hikers should be in the condition to hike 3-4 miles of trail. To prepare you should be exercising regularly, including walking on trails for balance. A 5-mile hike in the mountains is like a 6-7 mile walk on flat roads.
- Get more tips on fitness and safety during the summer.
Don’t forget to check out Missy’s list of hiking resources!
When Fall 2020 rolls around, get ready to join Missy for her popular program of guided hikes, “Get on Trails with Missy and Friends.” This hiking series will support your love your fitness while helping fund park projects and programs supported by Friends of the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks. Since its inception in 1998, Get on the Trail has raised more than $160,000 through the generous support of the participants and our sponsors.
Many thanks to our partners:
Knoxville News Sentinel, Humana, Cabins of the Smoky Mountains, East Tennessee PBS, Farm Bureau Insurance, Home Federal Bank, LeConte Medical Center
You must pre-register by calling (865) 541-4500. We normally have a waiting list so please be courteous and call to cancel if you cannot make a hike. To join the waiting list, call the number above or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost for each hike is $20.00/person with the proceeds going to Friends of the Smokies. A complimentary Friends of the Smokies membership is provided with a registration of the entire series.
Make payment to:
Friends of the Smokies
P.O. Box 1660
Kodak, TN 37764
For additional information, contact Kathryn Hemphill at Friends of the Smokies, 865-932-4794 or kathryn@friendsof the smokies.org.