Go Hiking As Exercise
Exercise … Who me? Never! I bet you know people who think a fitness routine must include working out in a gym. They buy the membership (usually around the first of the New Year), go a few times and then suddenly become too busy to make it there unless a major special event causes them to freak out about not being able to fit in to that ________________ (fill in the blank…wedding dress, tuxedo, holiday gown, whatever) outfit. Hiking as exercise is a much better approach! Psst we’re compensated…see our disclosures.
It’s time to tell the truth! Go hiking … get exercise … avoid the gym. It’s that simple!
5 Reasons Hiking As Exercise Beats The Gym
Here are our favorite food, gear and motivation day hiking tips and tricks for beginners to get great exercise on their hikes.
1. Dogs Allowed
Come on Fido … let’s hit the trail! We all love our pets and they need exercise too. Don’t forget the water and trail food to keep you and your dog’s energy and hydration levels safe. For the humans on our hike, we bring hydration packs with lots of water as well as dry fruit and nut trail mix, tuna packs (for lots of protein) and easy-to-eat fresh fruit like oranges and apples.
Slurps Travel Dog Bowl. Walking, Hiking! Running! Car Trips! Playtime! Easy To Carry! Easy To Use!
Do you have quality time with your dog? Hiking as exercise is a great way to keep you both smiling! Just remember, don’t get dehydrated. Bring plenty of water for you and your dog. If you use a Dog Travel Water Bowl, it makes it easier for your dog to drink normally. Once the bowl pops open, it stays open without the sides flopping in. It is lightweight and conveniently clips to a belt loop too.
2. Scenery Allows You To Focus On Nature While Hiking
When working out, some distraction could be a benefit. Lots of people pick up a smartphone, read a book or watch TV while in the gym. Personally, I’d rather experience nature while day hiking in the mountains for my exercise. For any exercise program to be sustainable and successful, you need to make it fun and avoid injuries. One of my top hiking gear tips is to use hiking poles for stability and balance.
Sure, you could people watch in a gym but the natural beauty of hiking outside is waaaaaay more fascinating. I like to use hiking poles so I stay balanced and on track when experiencing the scenery out in nature … especially while hiking in rugged hills or mountains with loose gravel. Whether you are dumbfounded by the tree that is growing directly out of a rock or getting entertained by the hummingbirds performing a flawless ballet … nature scenes in the great outdoors never disappoint!
3. Sunshine Is A Huge Benefit When Hiking As Exercise
Some people believe sunlight makes you happier because it increases serotonin levels. I don’t know the scientific reason, but, I do know sunshine makes me happy!!! 🙂 I also know, the more I enjoy an activity, the more I want to do it. So, if your hiking routine is designed to replace a not-so-enjoyable workout at the gym, one of the best hiking tips for beginners is to determine what part of hiking excites you and do more of that. It might be a specific location/scenery or it might be that you appreciate seeing new landscapes and new destinations. Create a plan that you love and you will stick with it!
SUNSHINE!!! With so many people staring at computer screens for the majority of their lives, it’s a great excuse to break that pattern with actual, real, natural light. Don’t forget to wear your high SPF sweatproof sunblock so you are only getting the good stuff when you are hiking as exercise.
4. Fresh Air
When we workout we are bound to sweat and let’s face it … sweat stinks! Just like any physical activity, the benefits of hiking resulting in weight loss has a lot to do with how often you hike, length of your hike and how strenuous your journey. Odds are, if you are not sweating and getting your heart rate elevated for a portion of your hike, the weight loss benefit may be non-existent. So, make sure you sweat a bit on your hikes if you want to drop a few pounds in the process. 😉
Smartwool Men’s Hike Ultra Light Mini Socks
Let’s see … how can I say this without offending anyone … not sure, so here goes: You stink! (I do too!) The great thing about hiking is that you are out in the fresh air and not in an enclosed building with the perfume of other humans drenched in sweat. And, because we actually WANT to sweat when exercising, I appreciate a good pair of hiking socks with mesh ventilation and a flat knit toe seam. We can all breath a little easier now, can’t we?
5. Family Friendly Fun
You’ve probably heard the saying … “The family that plays together, stays together!” We love hiking together as a family! Plus, the psychological, mental, social and emotional benefits of hiking as a family are enormous. Hiking creates good quality time to bond together through experiencing nature and getting a workout all at the same time!
If you take the “work” out of workout, you are more likely to stick with it. Being a healthy family is awesome so why not make the journey enjoyable every step of the way? Tracking progress with a fitness band is something that helps keep the enthusiasm high when the entire family is going hiking as exercise together.
Great resources to find hiking trails in Arizona
Arizona is the perfect place to hit the trail instead of the gym. With hiking trails for every level of hiker, in every corner of the state, you can find the perfect place to get your non-exercise exercise.
Thinking about heading out to a National Park? Check out my blog post to get info on Arizona’s gems in the National Park Service jewel box.
Thinking about hiking in one of Arizona’s National Forests?
- Hiking in Tonto National Forest
- Hiking in Prescott National Forest
- Hiking in Coconino National Forest
- Hiking in Kaibab National Forest
- Hiking in Coronado National Forest
- Hiking in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
Here are even more great hiking resources:
What do you think? Leave me a comment…I’d love to hear from you!
I love sharing my recipes and tips for enjoying the great outdoors while camping, RV adventuring and relaxing in your own backyard. I’d love to hear what you think and if you’d like to share some of your secrets, I’d love to hear them too! Please leave a comment below and let’s chat.
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