We're not sure what you'll be doing at midnight on New Year's Eve (something healthy, we hope). Whatever you're up to, skip the morning walk of shame and head out to your local state park for a moment of clarity -- and exercise.
On Jan. 1, all 50 state park systems across America will sponsor free, guided First Day Hike programs. This is an awesome chance to learn about what the state parks in your ‘neck of the woods’ have to offer (you’ll be surprised). Also, it’s a nice time to reflect on your New Year’s resolutions or maybe just reflect on what the hell happened the night before. The best part is that hiking is an aerobic. You’ll be the first one to burn away those holiday calories.
Your mental health improves when you’re around nature. Psychology Today says that even five minutes of exercise outdoors can boost your mood and self-esteem.
“What better way to kick off the New Year than with a hike at a state park?” said Ruth Coleman, president of the National Association of State Park Directors in a press release. “Think of it as the start of a new and healthy lifestyle, for the whole family.”
First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation in Massachusetts. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks.
Visit the America’s State Parks website for a location near you.
Stretching is important for all activities and the American Hiking Society recommends stretching the calves, quads and knees, hamstrings to help you get through the uneven and varied surfaces the woods offer.
Celebrating in the urban jungle?
You can still take in some nature! Forget Times Square on New Years Eve and head north toward Central Park for the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run. This 33rd annual event features a dance party, costume parade and fireworks display. As the ball drops, you can party through a four-mile course. There’s even a non-alcoholic champagne water station along the way.
Did we inspire you to have a healthy New Year? If not, be sure to stock up on these: http://www.walkofshamekit.com/order.php
Happy New Year!