When the weather gets warmer and the cicadas begin to hum, we Tennesseans know it’s time to get outside! Emerald rolling hills, mighty rivers and shimmering lakes are just a few of the many reasons to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail. After all, hiking in Tennessee can be one of the most enjoyable ways to get active while taking in the landscape and breathing in the fresh air. Not only can hiking in Tennessee help support your physical activity goals, but taking a trek through the woods can improve your mental health, too. A recent study showed that people who walked in nature — as opposed to urban settings — showed decreased levels of depression. So fill up that water bottle and grab a friend, because it’s time to get outdoors. Bring a Friend While you can certainly have a solo outdoor adventure, hiking with a buddy is always safer, so call up a friend and set a date to hit the trails. Once you’re trekking, don’t stray from your group …
When you’re starting a strength training routine for the first time, stepping into the weight room can be a daunting task. The number (and variety) of machines may feel overwhelming, and being surrounded by weight-lifting pros might be just a little intimidating. However, stepping outside your fitness comfort zone is critical to achieving your wellness goals – and there’s no better place to get started than in the weight room. Here are some tips to help you stay stress-free about strength training. Start With Free Weights and Body Weight Although machines can make strength training seem easy, they’re often more complicated than they appear, particularly for first-time users. Instead of spending 10 minutes trying to master one complex machine (and another five waiting for someone to finish using it), spend five minutes performing a basic free weight or body weight exercise like tricep dips or weighted squats. Not only are these movements easy for beginners, but they’re also considered building blocks of a solid strength training routine. Once you’re comfortable with a handful of basic …
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