opinion

 

images.jpgWe live in a world with thousands of different types of workouts, diets, and suggested lifestyles. These healthy habits are usually kept up for a few days or maybe a few weeks if you have someone to bug you about it.

The struggle to maintain these healthy changes stems from the sudden life change and the shock to your system both physically and mentally. The thought of going for a run gives people legitimate anxiety and the idea of dieting makes some people straight up angry.

As a college student, I understand the difficulties surrounding a healthy lifestyle as much as anyone else. Students are always looking for a quick meal or a get-fit-quick exercise routine because time is limited; after all, it’s only four years.

The temptation to “work smarter not harder” is always there, and while this approach may work for accomplishing your group project or your last minute presentation, it doesn’t work for a healthy lifestyle.

Hard work is the only way.

Combining things from your existing life into your modified lifestyle is the best way to reach your goals because it lets you adjust slowly and gives a better chance of long-term success.

For me, hiking has always been something i’ve loved to do. The outdoors are where I feel most at home and summiting a mountain is one of the single most rewarding feelings there is.

As I began to focus more on fitness and my physical health, I realized how beneficial hiking can be for me. A day hike burns thousands of calories, it strengthens the core and leg muscles, and it loosens joints and keeps you limber.

While hiking, there is a perfect disconnect from the real world that gives you a complete break from your daily tasks and worries and that feeling is something everyone should cherish.

A healthy life should be repeatable but never boring.

Hiking is a better workout than going to the gym (which I love) or going for a run. Hiking is infinitely better than a traditional workout. A total body workout with a mental break from the real world, what could be better?

According to LiveStrong, hiking can burn just about the same amount of calories (per hour) as going for a normal run. It is nearly impossible to make a pro and con list of going for a hike because there are few bad things about getting out in nature and exercising your body.

On a hike, you improve your respiratory system, you increase blood flow, you build muscle, and you clear your mind. For me, this trumps running aimlessly on a treadmill, no contest.

Most people assess the quality of their workout based on the number of calories they have burned, this metric is essentially equal for hiking and running and the existing differences are all positively trending towards going for a hike.

We are fortunate to live in a region of the country that has endless options for day hikes as well as overnight hikes. Hiking is a tremendous workout for all skill levels, all ages, and all different kinds of people.

Running tends to lead people down a path of monotony, where as hiking tends to lead people down a path of exploration and accomplishment. The numbers are there, in terms of measuring energy used, hiking rivals running. In terms of life experiences, hiking is better and it should be shouted from the mountaintops.

 

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