Archive for May, 2011

Hiking Is Not Exercise

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

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?