If someone tells you to “take a hike” think of it as a good thing. Today, November 17th, 2014 actually marks Takes a Hike Day! I feel pretty fortunate to have lived in two states that have some beautiful trails and exceptional scenery.
One of my favorite places in my hometown of Philadelphia is hiking along the Wissahickon, where trails extend more than 50 miles.
“On average hiking burns up about 250 calories an hour—and people who lose weight through hiking or walking generally maintain that loss and continue to lose,”Active.com reports.
It makes sense to me. It was here that I started my weight loss journey. It was also one of the places where the man who is now my husband and I used to hike on weekend mornings.
This is the best time to hike in the Phoenix, Arizona area, our current home, now that the weather is a bit cooler.
“Maricopa County, Arizona is home to one of the largest regional parks systems in the nation with over 120,000 acres of open space parks that include hundreds of miles of trails,” according to Sonorannews.com.
In Philadelphia and now in Phoenix, I have had an opportunity to experience the mental and physical benefits of hiking on different terrain and, of course, in different climates.
According to LiveStrong.com, “Hiking allows you to explore nature, set aside everyday stresses and demands and stimulates the feel-good chemical hormones of adrenaline and endorphins to boost your mood and energy levels.”
“No matter what time of year, hikers should always carry along a few important items. A first-aid kit or at least some band-aids and anti-bacterial cream, sunscreen, a whistle to make noise, a cell phone to call for help and even carry pepper spray or mace which can be used if attacked by an unruly dog, by other wildlife or in self-defense against other people,” Examiner.com says.
Staying hydrated, especially in hot weather, is also important. And be sure to bring along some snacks.
Here in the Phoenix area, too often we hear about hikers needing to be rescued off the many mountain trails. HikingBeginner.com encourages hiking with a partner, as traveling alone can be unsafe. They also urge hikers to know where they are going,
“You don't want to get lost. Stay on clearly marked or well-traveled trails until or unless you are experienced enough to take the uncommon route. Yes, they're sometimes not as interesting. But getting lost is interesting in a very unpleasant kind of way.”
My experiences with hiking have always been pleasant and yet still adventurous! However, I never veered off path and have always had a sidekick or two!
“Take a Hike Day – Daysoftheyear.com.” Days of theYear. Web 16. Nov. 2014.
“Activities Hiking FOW.org.” Friends of the Wissiahickon. Web 16. Nov. 2014.
“The Many Benefits of Hiking – Active.com.” Active. Web 16. Nov. 2014.
“Maricopa County Parks are telling residents to ‘Take A Hike!’ – Sonorannews.com.”
Web 16. Nov. 2014.
“What Are the Benefits & Disadvantages of Hiking? – LiveStrong.com.” Live Strong.
Web 16. Nov. 2014.
“Go for a hike on November 17th, National Take a Hike Day – Examiner.com.” Examiner. Web 16. Nov. 2014.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website http://www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, JSK PR, http://www.jskpr.com/
Reviewed November 17, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith