It seems that many of us are constantly on a search for the latest and greatest workout. We don't want to miss out on what could be the secret to getting those six-pack abs or bubble booties. From Tabata to HIIT to Crossfit, we're all looking for something to make the impossible possible.
So, it's no surprise that there is a exercise gaining in popularity across the country that promises cardio and strength training, weight loss, and increased stamina. Wanna know the secret new exercise that has everyone talking?
Hiking?! Ok, so it's not new, but it is gaining in popularity as people look for ways to get exercise and disconnect from their screens. Just this past week, two of my nieces posted pictures of their hikes--showcasing a strenuous workout in one post and a time with family in the other.
About five years ago or so, I had the privilege of traveling to El Salvador and hiking throughout the mountainous countryside. To prepare, I took a boot camp class and did lots of walking around in my hiking boots prior to going. While I was in worse shape physically than I am now, I credit the workouts I did prior to my trip with allowing me to not only survive, but enjoy the hikes that we took and the literal mountains that we climbed.
Advantages to Hiking
Disadvantages to Hiking
Don't Forget Your Feet!
One area that you do not want to skimp on is the shoes. You're going to want to have an understanding of your terrain before you can decide which shoes would be the best. Is it mostly flat land where you'll be walking? Hilly? Rocky?
How are your ankles? If you're not used to hiking, you may want a boot that helps to support and protect your ankle.
For my trip to El Salvador, I bought a pair of RedHead boots, similar to these.
I took many walks in them prior to my trip to make sure they were broken in and that I felt comfortable in them, as I ended up practically living in them for a week. They were the BEST boots, comfortable, weather-proof, and I still have them and use them every winter. They were fantastic on rocky terrain and not overly heavy on the flat surfaces. I would definitely recommend RedHead brand if you are looking for hiking boots.
The other consideration you need to make in regards to your feet is socks. Your feet are probably going to sweat while you're hiking and you don't want to get blisters, but you may have to factor in weather changes WHILE you're hiking (temperature and precipitation, for example). These socks by Vitalsox are amazing! They will keep the moisture away, but are thick enough to help protect from blisters and keep your feet warm.
They help support your feet and give you the comfort you want while navigating the great outdoors. Be sure to keep an extra pair in your bag just in case a sudden rainstorm finds you.
Is Hiking for You?
Do you like the outdoors? Do you want a workout that's different each time? Do you want a workout that has built-in family or friend time? Then hiking may be the workout you're looking for! There are a number of posts out there that will help you get in hiking shape--you can start here for indoor workouts and here for increasing your actual hiking endurance.
What do you think? Is hiking the next best thing in exercise or is it old hat? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to sign up for our email list to get great tips and ideas straight to your inbox every week!