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?

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