“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”~John Muir
Before making a commitment to myself to live a healthier life, exercise was one of my biggest barriers. I’ve never been great at sports and the treadmill just isn’t my idea of a good time.
Hiking, though, is the perfect solution! It’s a great form of exercise for all levels of fitness.
You Set Your Own Pace
One of my favorite things about hiking is that just about anyone can do it. If the last exercise you got was in high school gym, do a google search for easy hiking trails in your area. You may be surprised to discover some hidden trails in your own backyard.
No matter how steep the incline, or how long the trail is though, you still get to set the pace. When hiking with others, common courtesy is to let the slowest person go ahead to set the pace for the rest of the group. You get to decide how often to stop for a break, and you get to decide when to turn around to head back home.
The Scenery Along the Way is Beautiful
Even better than the ability to tailor your hike to meet your fitness level, it’s easy to forget you’re even working out! Hiking trails are surrounded by picturesque scenery. You can hike the same trail every day for a year and still see something different each time.
It doesn’t matter how challenging or remote the trail is, getting outside in and of itself is good for your health. And a walk in nature makes it that much better.
It’s Totally Worth the Climb
I’ve always said hiking is great because I want to die the whole way to the top, but then I make it there and it just doesn’t matter anymore. An hour on a treadmill ends with wiping down the machine and heading home (after 59 minutes of clock-watching . . . or is that just me??).
An hour hiking to the top of a steep hill ends in a feeling of great accomplishment that is often shared with others reaching the same common goal.
Plus, that accomplishment is usually accompanied by a killer view.
If you’re ready to start adding exercise into your life, consider starting with weekend hikes. You can go as slowly and take breaks as frequently as you need to. In return, Mother Nature will reward you with some beautiful scenery all along the way
The hike itself may be brutal, but that feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top of the trail is totally worth it!