For some of us, exercising in a gym, using the same, repetitive movement, while staring at the wall or TV screen sounds about as fun as a root canal. We prefer for our exercise to be a multi-sensory experience, in inspiring surroundings. If you’re under the impression that hiking is a pastime only for people in mountainous terrains, like Colorado or Montana, think again. According to AmericanTrails.org, every U.S. state has opportunities for hiking.
Here are 7 Excellent Reasons to Literally Go Take a Hike:
1. It’s good for your health. The aerobic activity you get from hiking has all kinds of groovy health benefits, like improving your cardiovascular and muscular fitness, and potentially lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol, and cancer risk. Check out how walking can help you reach your fitness goals here.
2. It gets you outdoors. It’s always a bit of a bummer to be at the gym on a beautiful day. Fresh air and sunlight are good for you – body and soul.
3. It allows you to be social. By joining a hiking group, you can interact with others while you get fit, plus you can form bonds based on common experiences. Find hiking groups in your area at hiking.meetup.com. Don’t see a hiking group near you? Create one! See our post, Start a Fitness Program in Your Community, for helpful tips.
4. It allows you to have solitude. Solo hiking can provide some time and space to clear your head in beautiful surroundings. (This is where your mom would tell you to make sure to be safe and carry your cell phone, though.)
5. It’s an experience. Hiking can take a few hours or a few days, depending on the kind of experience you’re looking for. As we mention in our other posts, Vacation Fitness, 5 Ways to Get Active When You’re on the Road, and Fun Family Vacations that Keep You Fit, families or friends can even take backpacking trips where they hike during the day and camp at night.
6. It’s constantly changing. Unlike working out at the gym or jogging around the neighborhood, hikes allow you to explore new scenery, terrain, altitudes, and plant and animal life all the time.
7. Fido can come along. Assuming that he can handle the terrain, hiking is a great way to take your dog’s walk to the next level. Whether you’re taking man’s best friend, or you bring some other human friends along, make sure you pack the right supplies, including food, water, a first aid kit, and sun protection.