tiktok challenge

Hartford HealthCare Promotes TikTok Trend to Patients and Beyond

A health conscious TikTok trend is gaining traction on and off the app.

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TikTok: an online platform where you can learn anything from recipes to pop culture to the latest trends, including one coined "Hot Girl Walks."

Videos with the new hashtag "Hot Girl Walk" encourage users to go on a walk as a form of exercise, mediation or a chance to reflect. 

"Being a 'hot girl' has nothing to do with how you look. It's a state of mind. It's means I am doing my best. I am being my best," said Deepta Ramesh, TikTok user from West Hartford.

Ramesh hopped on the bandwagon in April, creating a "Hot Girl Walks" video of her own at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford.

"Ever since the pandemic happened, this has been my escape. I love a trend, and I was on TikTok, and I kind of saw that narrative had kind of gone away from doing these intense workouts, where you're in these outfits and in spin class," Ramesh said.

Another woman from Farmington said she was familiar with the trend.

"I don't think I would part take in it personally, but it's nice to see people feeling powerful doing it," said Laci Mancini.

The trend consists of three elements: three-to-four-mile walks, being plugged into music and thinking positive thoughts.

"So, the goal is to give people another tool in their toolkit towards building resiliency. We have seen an increase in mental health services and substance treatment. So, everything we can do to build people's tool kits and direct them to the right care is important," said Dr. Carla Schnitzlein, Natchaug Hospital medical director.

The hospital, which is part of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network, is supporting the message by encouraging it to all patients and greater community as people navigate rising fuel prices, supply shortages and inflation.

While it's one of the more positive TikTok trends, some users have encouraged the use of noise cancelling headphones on these walks, but Schnitzlein said that could be safety concern.

"Environmental safety is important. Finding a place where there isn't a lot of traffic. Maybe at a park with a lot of people around for safety. Certainly, if you have earbuds, you can always take one earbud out and it still has that same effect," Schnitzlein said.

A mother who isn't a TikTok user said she could see herself and her kids following this trend," said Alexis Cooper of Plymouth.

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