Hit the Trails for a First Day Hike
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Start off the new year on the right foot, then the left foot, then the right again, by going on a First Day Hike on January 1, 2021!
The idea is simple: head to a local park and hit the trails. Instead of taking a guided hike this year, we suggest that you follow Public Health guidelines and get outside for a self-guided hike or with members of your own household, while staying physically distanced from other hikers.
We kindly ask that you leave nothing behind but footprints, stick to trails, plan appropriately, and let wildlife feed themselves.
Hike to win
If you take part in a First Day Hike, you can enter for a chance to win one of three (3) prizes from the BC Parks Foundation Shop!
To enter, post a photo on social media of you taking a First Day Hike on January 1. Make sure to add #FirstDayHike and tag @healthybynaturecanada on Instagram and @HBNCanada on Twitter. On Facebook, you can post your photo on our page, either on our wall or on the First Day Hike post’s comments. See below for full contest details.
About First Day Hikes
First Day Hikes began in the United States over 25 years ago. The first-ever First Day Hike happened in 1992 in the DCR Blue Hills Reservation, a park just south of Boston, MA. They now welcome about 700-800 happy hikers to the trails every New Year’s Day. Parks across all 50 states now offer First Day Hikes.
The BC Parks Foundation’s Healthy By Nature initiative is excited to be one of the first international participants in First Day Hikes.
The many health benefits of hiking
Hiking is a fun activity people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy. Memories made on the trails will stay with you forever. First Day Hikes make a great holiday tradition!
Beyond the good times on the trail, hiking:
- Is good for cardiovascular health
- Can help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke
- Tones muscles especially in your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Add some hills or uneven terrain for an even better cardio workout to burn more calories
- Is good for your mind: research shows that spending time outdoors may increase your attention span and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50% and nature sounds have been shown to lower stress levels.
First Day Hikes are even endorsed by doctors themselves, including our very own Dr. Melissa Lem, Director of our PaRx program. “From lower stress and blood pressure to a boost in your immune system and cancer-fighting proteins, the evidence is growing about the health benefits of getting active in nature,” she says. “We are delighted to be helping Canadians celebrate the arrival of a new year, and encouraging them to get outside in a safe and healthy way!”
Ready to hit the trails?
Remember to tag us in your #FirstDayHike snapshots on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to be entered to win!
Contest Rules and Regulations
The First Day Hike giveaway contest is hosted by Healthy By Nature, an initiative of the BC Parks Foundation. Contest is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, who are ages sixteen (16) or older. Three (3) prizes available to win. Entries can be made via Instagram or Twitter by posting a photo, tagging #firstdayhike and @healthybynaturecanada (Instagram) and @HBNCanada (Twitter). Entries can be made on Facebook by posting a photo on Healthy By Nature Canada’s wall or in the comment section of their First Day Hike posts. By submitting photos, participants give Healthy By Nature and the BC Parks Foundation permission to re-post these images on their social media, blog and newsletter. Participants must own the copyright to all materials included in their submissions. Photo entries must be posted before 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, January 2, 2021. Each photo constitutes one entry. There is no limit to entries per person, but any one person may only win one of the prizes. Prizes will be drawn at random by 5:00 pm PST on Monday, January 4, 2021. Winners will answer a skill-testing question. Contest is not sponsored or endorsed by Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. By submitting photos following the guidelines, participants agree to the above rules & regulations.