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Kick off a healthy 2018 with exercise

Posted on Sunday, December 31, 2017 at 10:00 am


Kali Bradford


Tomorrow is the first day of a new year.

About 41 percent of Americans will make resolutions, with 21 percent of those being to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2018, according to Statistic Brain.com.

However, the site states that only 8 percent will actually keep their new year’s resolutions.

While resolutions can be daunting and seemingly impossible to keep, there is hope out there that can lead to 12 months of resolution success.

The American Psychological Association recommends the following to help keep every resolution you make.


Start small

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.


Change one behavior at a time

Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.


Talk about it

Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.


Don’t beat yourself up

Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy.


Ask for support

Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help.


Kick off the new year with fitness

One way to kick off a successful new year is to get started on day one. Tennessee State Parks are inviting the public to kick start a healthy new year with the health initiative, #resolutiontohike. The initiative also serves and connect with the outdoors with Tennessee State Parks.

From Tims Ford State Park to Fall Creek Falls to Warriors’ Path and every state park in between, the state parks’ 2018 First Day Hikes are designed for all ages and abilities and are offered at all times of day.

Tennessee State Parks’ First Hikes of 2018 are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.

For more information, visit online at www.tnstateparks.com.


Tims Ford State Park: Midnight to 2 a.m. on Monday on the Lost Creek Overlook Trail. Meet at the visitor’s center at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31. Come prepared for a moderate 2.5-mile hike. The hike is designed for all ages and abilities.

The park is located at 570 Tims Ford Drive in Winchester. For more information, call 962-1183 or (800) 471-5295


Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park: 1-3 p.m. Monday. The hike will begin at the park museum and last approximately two hours and cover 2 miles.  Ranger Leigh will lead the hike along the Big Duck River to the confluence of the Big Duck and Little Duck Rivers on to the Backbone/Little Duck River Loop Trail.

The park is located at 732 Stone Fort Drive in Manchester. For more information, call 723-5073.


South Cumberland State Park: 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Monday. Join Park Ranger John Ball for this leisurely 2-mile hike around the Grundy Forest Day Loop. Be prepared for cold weather. This hike is considered moderate in difficulty and may be a little slippery depending on the weather.  The park will also host a first day hike at Stone Door from 7 to 8 a.m. on Monday. Join Ranger Reid for a moderate 2-mile hike. Dress for the weather. Meet at the Stone Door Ranger Station. This hike is appropriate for all ages.

The park is located at 11745 US 41 in Monteagle. For more information, call 924-2980.


Cumberland Mountain State Park: 10 a.m. till noon on Monday. Meet at the park restaurant for an easy-to-moderate 3-mile hike along the Pioneer Loop Trail. Hot cocoa, coffee and water will be provided inside the restaurant at the start of the hike. The park restaurant will be open for lunch upon return from the hike. A tour will be held at the CCC Bathhouse Museum following the hike to learn about our park’s story. Wear warm clothes and sturdy hiking shoes. For more information, call 484-6138 or (800) 250-8618. The park is located at 24 Office Drive in Crossville.


Cummins Fall State Park: A New Year ’s Day hike will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday at the Tiny House Ranger Station by the trail head, and continue to the waterfall overlook, to the top of the waterfall and downstream to the banks of the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River.  The park is located at 390 Cummins Falls Lane in Cookeville. For more information, call 261-3471.


David Crockett State Park: The park will host a first-day hike from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday. The hike will be approximately 2.5 to 3 miles in length and will be moderate in difficulty.  Remember to dress for the weather, and bring water.  After the hike the Friends of David Crockett State Park will have popcorn and hot chocolate at the restaurant. The park is located at 1400 West Gaines St. in Lawrenceburg. For more information, call 762-9408.


Edgar Evins State Park: The park will host a first hike and feast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday. Hikers will meet at the picnic shelters to sign in and drop off food and will then head over to the Millennium Trail Head for a 2.5-mile moderate hike. After the hike, hikers will meet at the shelter for a potluck feast. This free event is for the whole family. The park is located at 1630 Edgar Evins State Park Road in Silver Point. For more information, call 858-2446 or (800) 250-8619.


Fall Creek Falls: Meet Robert Becker at the main overlook for Fall Creek Falls to hike to the base at 10 a.m. on Monday to learn the history and ecological balances that make the park special. Dress for the weather and bring water and a camera. The park is located at 2009 Village Camp Road in Spencer.  For more information, call (423) 881-3297.


Henry Horton State Park: the park will host a first-day hike along the Wilhoite Mill Trail at 10 a.m. on Monday. The 1-mile hike along the park’s most historic trail is for all ages. Wear good walking shoes and bring water.

The park is located at 4209 Nashville Highway in Chapel Hill. For more information, call 364-2222 or 364-7724.