Urban hiking the new workout. Sometimes you just need to get out of the gym, put the electronics aside and go for a nice long hike. What if you live in the center of a large city and the thought of sitting in a hot car for several hours, while stuck in traffic (with the thousands of others also trying to get away) is just too much to bear? Well, why not try urban hiking and really get to know your city?
URBAN HIKING THE NEW WORKOUT
Wear comfortable gear. This should be pretty much a given but I’m often surprised when I see people wearing completely inappropriate clothing. You will be doing lots of walking so put on your most comfortable sneakers and socks. I would suggest investing is some padded socks that will also wick moisture away from your feet. If your feet don’t hurt you will be able to last much longer. As for the rest of your outfit, it’s best to layer and choose pieces similar to what you might wear for a workout. With so many great brands, it’s easy to find clothes that are built for performance and that will allow you to blend in with the crowds.
Bring food. Sure, you are in the center of town and there is plenty of food available, but it’s still not a bad idea to bring along a few snacks. Trail mix (minus the candy) and some water is always a good option. You don’t want to be wasting time stopping at restaurants or stores.
Plan your route. This is the fun part. While it’s important to keep safe, this is your chance to really discover your city. You know, all those neighbourhoods that you’ve always wanted to explore but never did? Well, here’s your chance! And don’t be afraid to take transit to your starting point. This will keep your route fresh and different, every time.
Find the stairs. This is a hike, right? Hiking involves uneven terrain, so you are going to be taking the stairs. Although part of this experience is to see new sites and discover new places, this is still meant to be a great workout and there’s no better cardio or lower body training than stair climbing.
Don’t look back. There’s only one rule to urban hiking and that is, you don’t get to take the same route twice. This includes walking down the same street or walking down a staircase you’ve just climbed. No going back and window shopping down your favourite road, instead, keep finding new streets because you never know what you’ll discover next.
This is one of those workouts that anyone can do. Just remember that this isn’t meant to be a stroll in the park, this is a true workout in a less conventional spot. The last hike I did like this was around 20km (to put it in perspective, that’s a short hike) and took several hours of walking. It was tough, exhausting and I definitely needed a luxurious bath afterward, but a workout that I’ll never forget.
Have you ever done an urban hike?