When was the last time you got out on the trail? Whether you’re a runner, cyclists, or just enjoy a scenic nature walk along the Johnny Cash trail in Folsom, the benefits can be amazing. If you needed a reason to lace up your favorite pair of running shoes or grab your bike off the rack, keep reading.
Because the benefits of getting some exercise along the trail could be life-changing.
A Little Exercise Goes a Long Way on the Johnny Cash Trail
Everyone knows that exercise has a long-list of health benefits. According to the CDC, exercise is the most important thing you can do to protect your health against chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even some cancers.
Exercise strengthens muscles and bones. This is important at any age but even more critical for adults 35 and older such as Carmen, a Folsom resident whose exercise routine includes walking the trail 3 times a week. “I love to walk the trail, and on the other days I go to the gym and do yoga,” she says.
Exercise is also recommended (along with a good diet) as an effective way to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
You may be surprised to find how little exercise you need to start experiencing the physical benefits.
According to the CDC, adults and older adults can see health improvements from 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, every week.
Getting out for a walk along the trail for just 20-30 minutes each day could be the key to a healthier you.
QUIZ: Which Johnny Cash Tune is Your Theme Song
Take this quiz to find out which Johnny Cash tune is your theme song.
Hitting the Trail can Boost Your Mood
If the physical benefits of exercise aren’t enough to convince you to get out and move, take note:
Exercise can have a positive effect on your mood and mental health, too.
When you get physical exercise, your brain experiences a short-term mood boost. “Feel-good” chemicals like dopamine and serotonin get released every time you head out for a bike ride or go for a walk.
But the benefits don’t stop there.
Research shows that exercise can help alleviate long-term depression and anxiety; in some studies exercise was found to be comparable with antidepressants for people with major depressive disorders.
When you treat your body to physical exercise, such as walking, jogging, running, or biking on the Johnny Cash Trail, your brain will thank you.
Want to hear something amazing? The feel-good benefits of exercise are amplified when you head outdoors.
Close your eyes and imagine for a moment:
You’re standing on a paved trail, underneath the vast expanse of clear blue sky. The sun is warming your skin. Trees, bushes, plants, and vines surround you; a soft breeze whispers through their bright green leaves on it’s way to gently cool your face. You watch as a bird glides silently over the blue waters of Folsom Lake.
How do you feel?
It’s pretty hard to feel stressed, tense, or upset when you’re surrounded by the beauty and majesty of nature.
Researchers have repeatedly found that being in nature reduces stress, prevents depression, and boosts well-being.
Heading outside to immerse yourself in nature and get some physical activity can help you feel good mentally and emotionally.
In other words - walking or biking the Johnny Cash Trail can make you a happier person.
The Johnny Cash Trail: Good for You, Great for Your Kids!
The benefits of outdoor exercise for adults are undeniable. But there’s someone else in your family who may benefit even more from a nature walk or bike ride along the trail: your kids.
Not only will exercise help them stay healthy and improve their mood, it also can improve their learning skills and help them do better in school.
Research shows that exercise can increase the area of the brain responsible for memory, learning, and thinking skills.
Exercise can also help kids focus and improve their attention.
Taking your kids out for a nature walk or bike ride along one of Folsom’s many multi-use trails can help them feel better, be healthier, and it may even help them perform better at school.
What’s not to love about that!
Ready to Hit the Trail?
Now that you’re motivated to get out on the trail, here are some tips to get started:
First, take it easy. If it’s been awhile since you’ve exercised, don’t overdo it on your first time out on the trail. A brisk walk can provide the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise. Starting out too hard can lead to injuries and even delay the feel-good effects exercise has on your brain.
Check the weather. In the summer months, the temperatures on the trail can soar into the triple-digits. You may want to plan your walk, jog, or bike ride in the cooler morning hours instead of the middle of the day.
Stay hydrated. The trail is just short of 3-miles long. That may be too far a distance to travel without taking some water with you, particularly in warmer weather. Bring along a water bottle and stay hydrated.
Take a friend. You’re more likely to stick to an exercise program if you have a buddy or friend who will join you and motivate you. Invite someone you know who could also benefit from some outdoor scenic fun.
Ready, set, go! The trail runs from the Johnny Cash Overpass Bridge at Folsom Lake Crossing and East Natoma Street past the Folsom Prison entrance to its end point at the American River Canyon. Check out the trail map to find the best place to start your walk, run, or ride.