Hiking Is Not Exercise
Hiking is not really exercise. Exercise is what you do to get fit, and it usually involves dreaded hours of staring at a wall while doing something on a hamster wheel. Getting fit as a result of hiking is just an unnoticed side benefit, and can be more effective than exercising on purpose.
Yesterday while climbing a hill, I noticed I push myself to keep going until I can’t go anymore. Then I stop and rest just long enough to catch my breath before taking off for another stretch. There’s no way you would see me doing that on a treadmill.
When you’re hiking, there’s no need to reach down inside yourself and latch onto a goal to motivate yourself to continue. Each step is a reward in itself. You look up the trail, and you just want to get there. Then you reach your destination, all tuckered out and happy – proud that you got to where you wanted to go. You pushed yourself as hard as you physically could and you made it! . . . now you get to turn around and take yourself back to your truck – which is by now several miles away and thousands of feet below you.
Exercise? What does that have to do with hiking?