Hiking: Nature’s Alternative to Exercising at the Gym

Working out could be unappealing to people, but getting your daily amount of exercise is important when trying to keep a healthy lifestyle, especially for seniors. Whether because of health problems, weight or pain issues, or fear of falling, seniors tend to adopt sedentary habits. However, maintaining an active lifestyle actually combats the health problems common among seniors. Staying active boosts energy protects the heart, manages weight, enhances balance and mobility, strengthens memory, and also helps maintain independence. For many seniors, their Medicare health plan offers fitness benefits, whether it’s a wellness program or a gym membership. There are other ways to achieve an active lifestyle as well. If the gym seems unappealing and running just doesn’t quite do it, how about hiking?

At a Glance

Hiking is simply a walk with nature. All around the world from trails to mountain ranges, valleys to the forest, hiking can be done anywhere. Our ancestors would travel this way centuries ago. With the recent surge in hiking, I believe that our natural animal instincts get pleasure from being surrounded by nature. In 2016, a survey showed that 44.11 million people hiked in the United States alone.

Workout Benefits

Hiking considered an aerobic exercise can improve not only your physical health, but it can lead to improved cardio-respiratory fitness, improved muscular fitness, lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, and much more. It also boosts bone density, due to walking being a weight-bearing exercise. Ever wonder why people use poles during their walks? It’s because digging into the ground and propelling yourself forward pushes your upper body muscles to work harder and gives you a stronger cardio workout.

Trails around the World

Since you can take this workout anywhere, why not take it to one of these beautiful trails? Pacific Crest Trail in California, Oregon, and Washington is a hiker’s dream. From its mountain ranges to its beautiful waterfalls, this trail will catch your eye with its scenery. Don’t think your trails must stop in the United States, the whole world is full of beautiful landscapes. New Zealand is known for its Te Araroa trail, which links close to 2,000 miles of coastal sand, alpine ridges, and jungle bushwhack for all your sightseeing needs!


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