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What Itís All About

Our bodies were designed for motion and need to move in order to stay fit and healthy. Walking is one of the best exercises there is for your body. It doesn't stress your joints as much as running does, but still gets your body working hard enough for it to benefit from the exercise. Hiking is walking. So it is good for you, but it is more than just walking. Itís also communing with nature.

I don't know about you, but I find the infinite and ever changing variety found in nature to be one of the most beautiful things we have here on our planet. The clouds in the sky, the waves crashing on a seashore, the wind blowing in a meadow or amongst the tree tops, streams swirling and bounding toward the sea, and all of the other plants and animals that inhabit our earth along with us are all truly wondrous and beautiful things.

Now combine the one of the best exercises there is, walking, with some of the most spectacular beauty to be found on our planet, nature, and you have hiking, or walking in the wilderness.

You can go for a walk just about anywhere. You can walk around the block or the neighborhood. You can walk to work or to school. You can walk around the shopping mall. You can even go for a walk in the park. They are all good for you, but none of these walks really constitutes hiking. When you go for a walk in the wilderness, in a part of the world that has not been transformed by man, then your walking becomes hiking. When hiking, because your walking is in the wilderness, you have to depend and rely more on yourself Ė your skills and abilities. Hiking gives walking a different feel or flavor.

Hiking generally also means walking for longer distances than most of our other walking, but this is not absolutely true. Many hikes are for only part of day. A very short hike could be less than a mile on a nature trail by a campground. On the other hand a hike can be a very long walk. Some people hike for days, weeks, or even months at a time. A few people have even hiked for several years at a time.

Another nice thing about hiking Ė itís free. You've probably heard the saying that the best things in life are free. I think this certainly applies to hiking. There may be some fees at trailheads for parking your car, and a few places may charge a small fee for a trail permit in areas that are heavily used. But there are still plenty of places where you can go for hike with no more cost incurred than the transportation to get there and back home again.

If you think you would like to give hiking a try but don't know how to get started, read the article on How To Hike - Learning What You Need to Know in Order to Enjoy Hiking.

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