Hiking – Cardio with a View

Hiking – Cardio with a View

A great way to break up your regular workout routine is to go for a hike in your local park.  Hiking provides you with the opportunity to recharge with nature as well as an active rest day.  An active rest day is basically a day where you only do a light workout in order to speed up the recovery process.  This is a sneaky way to get more cardio in and burn calories but the variety and the beautiful view will make it feel like it is not a workout at all!

My regular workouts generally entail 30 minutes of cardio four times a week as well as other exercises at home; such as crunches, pushups, squats and lots of stretching.  Our bodies get used to whatever exercise you normally do so it is important to switch it up sometimes.  In Oregon the length of our hikes ranged from an hour to a whole day.  You might not be able to fit a hike a whole day hike, but even an hour can give you a good workout and clear your mind.  You can also bring your spouse, kids, or friends and make and adventure out of it.

Find a Park.  Each state has parks, such as local, state or national parks that have ample hiking opportunities.  While some have more hills than others, you will still get a great workout no matter the terrain.   You can search the internet for places near you to hike, below are a few examples of places I search when I am looking for a new place to explore.

Be prepared.  Hiking is different than a normal workout in your neighborhood or at the gym.  You will be out in the wilderness, and as such you should be prepared.  Bring a back pack and pack it with these essential supplies.  Plenty of water, snacks, flashlight, compass and a paper map (in case you lose cell service or your battery dies).  While you may be planning to go on a few hour hike you should be prepared in case in takes longer than you think.  You can also bring your dog if they are allowed, most parks allow them if they are on leash. My dog loves to do different work outs with me, there are all kinds of brand new smells for him to explore!

Recharge.  On your hike, take time to listen to nature, take out your headphones if you have them in.  Listen to the woods and the animals.  Hiking provides me with the opportunity to be with nature, in silence.  Being close to nature helps me recharge, re-center and relax.  I’m not sure about you but being surrounded by trees in a forest helps shrink my everyday stresses.

My husband and I recently went to Oregon specifically to have the opportunity to hike in the mountains, it is quite a change from our normal flat terrain in Florida.  We went on several hikes in various parts of Oregon and took our time exploring the different nature areas Oregon has to offer.  We communed with nature, disconnected from the 24/7 world, practiced our nature photography and as an extra perk we got intense workouts!  I strongly encourage you to fit a nature hike into your workout routine, I hope you love it as much as I do.


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