I recently read that sitting is the new smoking. As a society, our tendency to sit has increased significantly in the last few years. Exercise and clean eating are effective treatments for many chronic conditions. People with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes benefit from regular exercise. Exercise also helps people with high blood pressure, balance problems, or difficulty walking. Depression and anxiety can be significantly reduced just by going for a walk in a park. Being surrounded by nature has soothed my soul since I used to roam the ridges of our mountain farm in western North Carolina as a five-year-old. Going for a long hike through the woods, around the lake, or up a mountainside is the best mini-vacation for me. When the weather or my schedule does not allow for two hours of hiking, I will settle for a half-hour of walking fast around my neighborhood.
One of my favorite places on earth is Roan Mountain State Park, a short drive from my home. A couple of weeks ago, my sister, Glenda, and I took a long hike through the woods and across the balds to enjoy the blooms of the flame azalea and rhododendron, which naturally grow there. The full riot of flowers had not yet occurred.
I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of my part of the world. Have a beautiful weekend.