New Activity for the New Year: Hiking
Hey guys! I’m Caitlin from Artemis Prime Wellness and I’m so excited that Crystal had the awesome idea of featuring all of the fun and exciting fitness activities that are out there for us to experience!
My lifestyle and my health coaching business are based on the principle of “passive fitness”. This essentially means that you are living an active lifestyle that keeps you fit while having fun rather than feeling like you are sacrificing your precious free time to hit the gym. Although I happen to enjoy going to the gym, I know a lot of people would rather relax than sweat during their time off. That’s why it is so important to find an activity that you can get passionate about while still burning calories so that you can get fit while having fun.
For me, I think hiking is as good as it gets. It is such a scalable activity so that I can adjust my pace and my route to fit whatever I’m looking for that day. It is a fun activity to do in groups or with your pet so that you get some quality time in while revving your heart rate. On the flip side, you can hike alone (make sure someone knows where you’re going and an estimated return time: safety first!) and soak up the meditative qualities of a good hike. There’s nothing better than fresh mountain air to clear your mind. For me, going on a good hike has restorative properties that no other work out can give me.
I’m fortunate enough to live smack in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Appalachian Trail runs through backyards here and mountain living is the norm. I can hop in my car and be on any number of world-famous trails in a matter of minutes. If you aren’t as lucky as I am, you may have to do some research to find the closest hikes near you. Make sure you always take a few snacks and plenty of water, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to bring a good book to read when you reach your summit.
Make sure you know if the length of the hike is a there-and-back distance or one way. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re going out for a 6 mile hike and then having it turn out to be a 12-miler! Always dress in layers. Even if its 75 degrees at the base of your hike, as you increase your elevation it will get much cooler and breezy. If you’re hiking to a bald, be prepared for a drastic difference in temperature and high winds because of the lack of trees to protect you from the elements. If you bring Fido with you, make sure that you are comfortable hiking over rugged terrain with him on a leash because the last thing you want is to get raked over rocks when your pup sees a new creature to chase! I have hiking boots that I wear for long day hikes or overnights, but for 4 miles or less I usually just wear tennis shoes or my Chacos because I prefer the freedom of movement. Just get out there and get a feel for it and take in the beautiful views and increase in oxygen. You won’t regret it!!