Walking is a free and easy way to feel healthier! Even a small walk in a beautiful setting can be tremendous for your health, and the benefits increase the older you get. With this guide, you’ll learn about the wonders of walking along the best outdoor trails in Charlotte, NC today.
The Benefits of Walking for Seniors
Walking at any pace is healthy and enjoyable, and seniors receive immense benefits after a daily walk. By walking for just 20 minutes, you can ease arthritic pain while also stabilizing your back. Even if you don’t currently suffer from back pain, walking will help to strengthen your core and prevent future injuries. Plus, a pleasant walk will help loosen your muscles and relieve tension throughout your entire body.
A short walk does wonders for your heart as well. Walking for 15 minutes a day will lower your cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. While daily walks are great, you can still see great benefits by walking just three times a week! Another overlooked aspect of walking is how wonderful it is for mental health. Light exercise can ward off depression by increasing the body’s natural endorphins, like serotonin.
How to Get Started
Walking is an easy way to get outside and enjoy a little exercise – typically after you’ve finished this light exercise, your body will be left feeling physically refreshed and energized. Before you go out, you should ensure that you have comfortable tennis shoes to prevent any cramping or pain. Check the weather as well, and wear adequate clothing so you can comfortably walk in any season. Also, be sure to bring a water bottle and a light snack along with you.
Now that you’re ready to go, here are some of the most scenic and enjoyable trails in the Charlotte area:
McDowell Nature Center and Preserve
With seven miles of trails with flat to light inclines, an assortment of wildlife and colorful fauna, McDowell is one of the best places to enjoy an outdoor walk near Charlotte. Enjoy the fresh air as you walk through stunning plant life and listen to the calming sound of birds lightly chirping around you. Forget about the hubbub of city life as you take in stunning views of Lake Wylie along with lush forests, meandering streams and a prairie reserve. Many of the walking trails around McDowell Nature Center and Preserve are paved and very straightforward – if you’re looking for something a little more strenuous, there are also un-paved hiking trails scattered throughout the area. Don’t worry about getting lost – there are plenty of trail maps and markers posted within the Preserve and rangers are always helpful with answering questions.
Reedy Creek Nature Center
Reedy Creek is a large and well-maintained reserve that features isolated trails, play areas and vast lawns. Enjoy strolling by fresh ponds, stunning rock formations and forests that hide the nearby city center. Reedy Creek is a perfect area to enjoy relaxing, calming walks.
RibbonWalk Nature Preserve
The RibbonWalk Nature Preserve features numerous paved trails at varying lengths, and you can choose anything from a 15-minute stroll to a longer loop around the main sights. Experience blossoming flowers and wild mushrooms, and pay attention to the numerous butterflies and turtles that are abundant in the region. Along with scenic picnic tables and well-kept amenities, RibbonWalk a slice of natural paradise that you’re sure to love!
McAlpine Creek Greenway
McAlpine Creek Greenway is full of flat and winding trails through lush fauna. Enjoy vibrant flowers and grass, picturesque views, and a pleasant atmosphere away from cars and crowds. You’ll feel recharged and energized after a calming walk along the scenic trails at this greenway in Charlotte.
Little Sugar Creek Greenway
Little Sugar Creek Greenway is made up of a series of interconnected trails, making it the perfect destination for a nice long walk. You can begin your exercise at Freedom Park in Dilworth, and work your way to uptown through channels of trails. Along your walk, you will go through some tunnels and follow alongside the creek. There are plenty of benches available for resting. And if you get hungry, you can always stop at a restaurant in Midtown Charlotte.
Cypress of Charlotte
Each of these walking trails can be easily reached from The Cypress of Charlotte. If you’d rather not venture out to one of the nature preserves, nature centers or greenways, you can always take a stroll through our winding trails with stunning lake views and lush greenery. For information about the club lifestyle you can enjoy at our luxurious Charlotte Continuing Care Retirement Community, please contact us today.