Skip the Gym, Go Hiking!

Ah, summertime in the Pacific Northwest. With our lush greenery, striking mountains and abundant waterways, it can be hard to justify a summer spent working out in the gym. For the few months we have of truly wonderful weather, why not skip the gym and find exercise and fun in nature? In fact, hiking in particular can give you an excellent workout and allow you to see some fantastic views.

Hiking utilizes every muscle in you body, giving you a unique workout that you can’t exactly replicate in the gym. Additionally, with just 2.5 hours of hiking per week, you’ll receive a slew of health benefits that may just add years to your life. Taking a trail up the Cascades or Olympics at a moderate pace and somewhat steep incline can significantly lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. You can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and help to slow bone density loss that can lead to osteoporosis.

Hiking has also proven to benefit the soul as well as the body. People who hike report feeling less depressed, less stressed and better able to sleep. Not to mention, the view from the top of a tall peak can feel truly amazing.

Just in case you haven’t tried hiking before, here are a few fabulous hikes right in your backyard. Also, be sure you have all the safety essentials to ensure you are best prepared for anything that may come your way. Happy Hiking!

Photo By: SteveD

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