Tag: jonathan farber phd

How Healthy is Hiking?

You know the saying “fresh air is good for you”? Well, it’s true. Getting outside in the great outdoors is good for your health, both mentally and physically. Your body will reap major benefits from hiking. Next time you’re going for a hike, remember how you’re doing your body good by taking your health to a new height.


Reduces Risk of Disease


Physical activity improves your overall health and quality of life. Therefore, hiking also improves your health. Hiking can lower your risk of diseases , like heart disease, strokes, anxiety, and diabetes. While you’re in the fresh air, you’re also doing your body a favor. Because hiking elevates your heart rate for the entire duration of your excursion, it keeps your heart healthy.


Tones Muscle


Like any other physical activity, hiking tones your muscles. Hiking is a weight-bearing activity that forces your muscles to push. The higher you go in elevation, the more your muscles work to get there. Hiking also strengthens your core, because your body attempts to balance as it climbs. It not only works your core, but your legs as well. For a full-body workout, you can also work your arms by using a walking stick or hiking poles.


Improves Sleep Quality


As you burn calories and engage in the fitness activity of hiking, you’re putting your body to work. When your body works hard, it makes it easier for your body to want sleep. This means that after hiking during the day, it will be easier to fall asleep at night. Getting a good night of sleep is good for your health because it not only improves your mood, but it helps you maintain your weight and heart as well.


Reduces Depression


Physical activity has been linked with boosting your mood. When you hike, your body is releasing “feel-good” endorphins that make you feel happy. Therefore, hiking has been found to reduce depression. The scenic views of hiking are a great bonus to getting physical activity, rather than surrounding yourself by the four walls of a gym. Through hiking, you can elevate your mood while you elevate your location.
Hiking is a great way to get outside and enjoy fresh air. While you’re taking the time to hike, you’re also taking time to benefit your body. Keeping your body in a healthy shape is key to maintaining a higher quality of life.

The Lure of Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has recently been ranked one of the best cities to live, work, and visit. But those who are unfamiliar with the city are probably wondering why it is so alluring – what makes Chapel Hill so great compared to other cities? Here are just some of the many reasons why people from all over love Chapel Hill, North Carolina:

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Downtown Chapel Hill’s tree-lined streets are filled with wonderful restaurants.

First, the livability, which is made up of a wide range of elements, is very appealing. From its mild climate and favorable location, located between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, mixes the charming mountaineer lifestyle with the lure of the sea – both easily accessible. Chapel Hill also combines a young atmosphere with rich history and southern tradition, especially when it comes to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s game days. An article published by Streetdirectory.com notes that, “Money Magazine recently ranked the town as the number one best place to live in the southern US,” (Adams, The Top 5 Reasons to Live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina).

The Chapel Hill community is another reason many residents and outsiders alike enjoy the city. With a small-town friendly vibe, people are not hesitant to wave hello or give a helping hand. According to Streetdirectory.com:

“With tree-lined streets, great schools and centuries of history to discover, Chapel Hill is also great to meet people with like-minded interests. The community offers a multitude of youth and adult programs with everything from arts and crafts to sports and exercise programs, among others,”(Adams, The Top 5 Reasons to Live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina).

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The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

If you’re new to town, you’ll be sure to find a group of people you can affiliate with according to your interests. Chapel Hill is known for making sure its residents are happy and healthy, and with the University and UNC Hospitals spread throughout the city, there are plenty of free programs for you to join and feel the wonderful sense of community that Chapel Hill exudes.

The arts and culture scene in Chapel Hill is another flourishing aspect of the community. For music lovers, nature appreciators, theatre personas, and sports fans – there is never a lack of activities to take part in, no matter what interest pertains to you. Streetdirectory.com notes, “The town prides itself on being a community that values culture and has established an ordinace to allocate funds to be specifically used for promoting the arts,” (Adams, The Top 5 Reasons to Live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina). With the well-known Festifall Street Fair that happens each October, to the dozens of museums, arboretums and historical centers around the area, you’ll find that the arts are a huge part of what makes Chapel Hill so appealing.

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Festifall is one of Chapel Hill’s most well-known art festivals that takes place in October.

For more information about why people from all around the country are flocking to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, check out Streetdirectory.com’s article here, which includes details like the positive employment rates throughout the city, along with the great education systems.

Things to Do on Your Next Trip to the Outer Banks

jonathan farber phd gallery_beaches_1_lrgThe Outer Banks in North Carolina are a great summer vacation spot for both North Carolina residents and out-of-staters alike.  From the beautiful, quaint town of Avon, to the northern towns of Corolla, Nags Head, and Duck, there are plenty of fun activities you can engage in to make your stay worthwhile, especially if you are traveling with family. The following are some tips on what to do the next time you find yourself surrounded by the blissful serenity of the Outer Banks:

Jonathan Farber PhD ferryFirst, you should know about the free ferry ride from Hatteras to Ocracoke, which many people think costs money. Try to go during off-peak hours, because lines tend to get quite long during prime hours. The ferry ride lasts for 40 minutes and brings you right to the village of Ocracoke, filled with some of nature’s most breathtaking beauty like wild horses and near-vacant beaches filled with sea shells. Local attractions of the village include small coffee shops, ice-cream parlors, and various places to shop. But keep in mind, it will be hot out and you will most likely be walking around for a while because the shops are spread out – so don’t forget to pack sunscreen!

Another great activity to partake in during your stay at the Outer Banks is to kayak on the canals. You can either rent kayaks from local tour spots, which will offer lessons and safety precautions (especially for the younger ones), or bring your own if you’ve got them! A peaceful kayak ride amongst the soothing waters of the canals is one of the best forms of meditation there is. Plus, if you go with a loved one, it can be very romantic.Jonathan Farber phd Lighthouse

Next, you should visit the Hatteras lighthouse, one of the Banks’ most famous landmarks that is usually a bit crowded. But, there’s always reasons for a crowd – and this lighthouse is no exception. Despite the hot climb to the top, the views once you conquer it are worth every penny – you won’t regret it. There’s also a visitor’s center with free park programs, a small museum, and access to the beach if you feel like taking a dip in the water to cool off.

Speaking of the beach, it may sound cliche but make sure you enjoy every second of relaxing in the sun with the soft sounds of waves crashing and seagulls singing as you close your eyes – you are on vacation after all. Be content with being in the moment, and utilize that salt water to it’s fullest, it really is healing.

For more information on things to do during your stay on the Outer Banks, check out this blog by Carrie Higgins.

Best Hikes in Asheville, NC

Asheville, North Carolina, is the largest city in Western North Carolina, located in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains and at the confluence of the Swannanoa River. Though the city is widely known for its laid-back atmosphere, kind people, and artistic vibes, Asheville is also home to some of the best places to hike in North Carolina.

Whether you’re in Asheville for a visit, or you’re lucky enough to live there, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t spend a day hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here’s a look as some of the best places to hike in Asheville:

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  1. Mt. Pisgah – A popular, 3 mile round-trip uphill climb, this hike may seem on the shorter side, but it is strenuous. Standing at 5,721 feet, you can see Mt. Pisgah from downtown Asheville on a clear day.
  2. Black Balsam Knob – This is a great hike if you want to experience some breathtaking views of North Carolina. It is part of the 30-mile Art Loeb Trail, so hikes can last as long as you want them to.
  3. Fryingpan Tower – A quick, 1.5 mile hike at a moderate-level, great for setting aside some time to catch a beautiful view of the sunset along its historic fire tower. If you want an even shorter, 1-mile hike with equally beautiful views, try out Devil’s Courthouse.
  4. Richland Balsam – A 1.5 mile easy loop that takes you along the Blue Ridge Parkway through the shady forest trees. A great hike to try out if you have kids or dogs who need get tired on longer, steeper trails.
  5. Waterrock Knob – A difficult, 2.4 mile hike to the summit, which stands at 6,292 feet as the 16th highest mountain in the Eastern United States. You’ll have to pace yourself for this hike, but you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when it’s over – definitely worth it!

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For more information on where to hike, either in Asheville or other parts of North Carolina, check out EveryTrail, a website dedicated to hiking in North Carolina.