Local Black hiking organizations are taking advantage of Los Angeles’ outdoor terrain.
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Black Girls Trekkin and Black Men Hike partnered for a joint hike.
By Jason Lewis
Los Angeles is a massive concrete jungle, and many people meet their fitness needs within the confined structures of the city. But getting off of the beaten path and into the great outdoors is a great change of pace. Many locals are incorporating hiking into their exercise program.
“My wife is very outdoorsy, and she got me to start hiking,” said Jelani Nattey, founder of Black Men Hike. “I’ve always been a guy who’s been in the gym and on treadmills. But she wanted to get me out to nature. As I started to hike with her, I started to get a passion about it, and I realized that I started to feel better. It wasn’t just like physically better, but I felt like I was becoming recharged. And I felt less stressed. In 2019, I was in a place where I felt overwhelmed and stressed. I used hiking as an outlet.”
Nattey reached out to some Black men in his network, and they formed Black Men Hike. The group meets on the first Saturday of the month, and they’ve had joint hikes with Black Girls Hike LA and Black Girls Trekkin.
In many Black neighborhoods it’s common to see people walking up and down the street for exercise. Hiking is similar, but there is an added degree of difficulty that can enhance the workout.
“Hiking taxes your body in a different way,” Nattey said. “The elevation helps with your wind. The diverse terrain helps with those secondary muscles as …….