Article #4: Hiking Is More Than Just Exercise by Marti Wheeler
Hiking could become your favorite form of exercise. One reason why is because walking is easy. In case you’re wondering what the difference is between hiking and walking, there’s really very little difference. According to the dictionary, a hike is a long walk, especially for pleasure or exercise. (Of course long is a relative term and so has little meaning unless we know long compared to what.)
At any rate, you can hike for both pleasure and exercise, among other things. Actually do not hike “at any rate”. Hike at a very fast pace. Walking cannot be very effective as a form of exercise if you don’t walk fast. (Fast is a relative term, too, but here we mean relative to a person’s ability. For example, a person just off a long fast might consider a moderate pace to be fast.) All the muscles of the body are used in walking, though the legs obviously benefit the most. Fast-paced uphill hiking provides as much exercise as jogging on level ground.
Hiking is healthful from standpoints other than that of exercise, however. It is an excellent way to obtain lots of fresh air, as well as a nice dose of sunshine. The mental well-being that results from a brisk walk cannot be underestimated, either. Enjoyment and appreciation of your surroundings can lift your spirits and make you glad to be alive—and healthy. There is something very uplifting about the feel of a breeze or wind on the face or body.
Such wholesome recreation is just plain good for us; Hiking is recreation on many counts. The scenery can vary from houses on neighborhood streets to woodsy settings; perhaps along a creek or river, to open fields or meadows. If you are curious or adventuresome, you may want to go exploring. If you are romantic, you may want to hike with a husband, wife or lover. You may enjoy hiking with a companion, someone with whom you enjoy conversation.
If you are like many people and have less time in your life than activities you want to pursue, why not combine your exercise with your social life to make the most of your time? If you use your imagination, you will come up with many more ways to combine hiking with other pleasurable activities. Though it is preferable to walk free-handed, you can occasionally bring your camera and take photographs. You can sometimes bring a small backpack with some fruit and combine a hike with a picnic—a good combination!
One last note on hiking: It requires very little equipment and no training or special skills. A comfortable pair of hiking shoes are an asset, though running shoes will also suffice in many places. If your inner ears are very sensitive, you may find it helpful to wear earmuffs or a hat or scarf that covers your ears if the temperature is below 65 degrees. Also, slacks, shorts or skirts with pockets are good to have. But, all in all, you will need very little equipment for hiking. You don’t even need as much energy and motivation as runners must have. Yet you can sure reap many benefits.
Lesson 97 – Devising A Lifestyle That Includes Vigorous Activity
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Informal Exercise
- 3. Formal Exercise
- 4. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Exercise: A Hygienic Perspective By Ralph C. Cinque, D.C.
- Article #2: Exercise: What Most Of Us Forget
- Article #3: Jogging And Other Vigorous Exercise
- Article #4: Hiking Is More Than Just Exercise By Marti Wheeler
- Article #5: Developing Your Arms