Hiking can help combat the leading cause of death in the United States - stroke.
An active and healthy lifestyle greatly reduces the chances of suffering a stroke, according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Regular hiking can be part of that active lifestyle.
And if recovering from a stroke, day hikes can be a valuable part of the therapy. A 2013 study found that walking helps stroke victims regain their ability to function and improves their quality of life. Walking outdoors in a natural setting offers the added benefit of improved attention spans and reduced stress, both of which often are important goals in post-stroke rehabilitation.
The trail need not run deep into the backwoods. Walking paths through tree-filled city parks can deliver the same benefits.
Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.