- Hiking is inexpensive. The only equipment you need is a good pair of trail shoes and a bottle for water. And if you already have a smart phone, you have access to several popular free hiking apps, including AllTrails, Backpacker GPS Trails Lite, or MapMyHike GPS Hiking.
- Hiking is easy. If you can walk, you can hike, and you can start hiking no matter what shape you are in. You can start on easy, flat trails, and as your fitness level increases, you can increase steepness of your trails and/or distance of your hike.
- Hiking can be challenging. There are always trails in terrain that can match or exceed your level of fitness. You can always up the challenge by hiking on more challenging trails. Hiking has something for everyone!
- You can vary your workout by hiking different trails. There is no limit to the trails and terrain you can hike. Hiking different trails also varies the landscape.
- Hiking gets you out into the sunshine and fresh air. Sunshine activates your body’s natural production of vitamin D, which helps your bones absorb calcium.
- Hiking is good for your body. Hiking tones your body and helps you lose weight, especially if you hike hills. The calories you burn hiking uphill are similar to jogging, and you can burn even more calories by carrying additional weights.
- Hiking is good for your health. Hiking improves your cardiovascular fitness, reduces your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood triglycerides, increases your bone density, and reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.
- Hiking is good for your mind. Hiking can relieve stress, clear your mind, and reduce insomnia, leading to better quality sleep and reduced depression. It just feels good to get outdoors!
- Hiking is social and fun. You can have lots of fun spending quality time hiking with a friend, several friends, your family, your spouse, or your significant other.
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year to hike. The hot summer temperatures have cooled off and the air is refreshingly pleasant. Depending on where you live, hiking may or may not be an option all year round: summers may be too hot and the sun too intense; winters may be too cold. So now is the perfect time to take advantage of the ideal temperatures and beautiful scenery, and get some fresh air. Plus, in some parts of the country the leaves are turning colors and the scenery is spectacular! Here are several reasons you may want to consider getting out your trail shoes and going for a hike:
Terri Quenzer, PhD
Terri has a passion for good health and for helping others find happiness in themselves through better health! Through her scientific and life experiences, her goal is to help you reach your healthy goals!
Be The Healthy U!: nominated for San Diego's Best Nutrition/Cooking Classes of 2016!
Catch Terri's interview about plant-based nutrition on KCQB 1170 AM - click here.
How Not to Die: Terri interviews Michael Greger, MD below.
Terri speaks with Jordan Hoffman of Jordan Hoffman Acupuncture about what to eat and East vs West.