Why Day Hike?
Hike: It's elegant and egalitarian! Think
about a hike: Low overhead and anyone can do this! No set of
wheels to buy and master, as in bicycling, skateboarding, motorcycling,
Indy 500 auto racing ... no ball to control - as in golf, tennis,
baseball, football, bowling, basketball, hot air ballooning ...
no fighting the elements for balance with a recalcitrant object
- as in skiing, surfing, kayaking, sailing, flying ... no body
threatening activity - as in boxing, wrestling, marathon running,
Absolutely nothing wrong with any of
the other sports mentioned above. The point is: Day Hiking is the
ultimate recreational activity. Trails are everywhere. From easy
walks around a lake to challenging hikes up a mountain, almost
everyone can participate.
Anyone who can walk can do this. The
goal is to walk (hike, trek) and come back the same day to indoor
plumbing and a bed with an expensive mattress. The attractiveness
of this "sport" is each person sets a goal and strives
to achieve to it. Rather than a casual walk in the evening after
dinner (also, a good thing to do), this endeavor requires some
planning and a commitment. Whether it is a challenging, "extreme" or
an easy hike, the answer is in the eye of the beholder (or in the
feet of the hiker?); specific hikes will be too hard for some and
too easy for others. The main goal is to achieve a sense of accomplishment
similar to more rigorous sports like ultra-trail or marathon running
but with a lot less stress on the body.
Day hiking is becoming popular with
all ages, especially two aging baby boomer groups: The formerly
active and the inactive.
Active Baby Boomers: The first group
engaged in strenuous activities all their lives, perhaps as a serious
runner, or some other competitive sport, now find knees and other
body parts have slowed them down. Maybe backpacking and camping
in the wilderness is not as much fun. The outdoors may have lost
its allure due to the heavy pack, the logistics of sleeping, the
complications of cooking, and personal body maintenance. Or
simply, they find the time commitment is too much for the extended
overnight trip, and thus, day hiking is the answer.
Inactive Baby Boomers: The other group
may not have been a fan of exercise, opting for the proverbial
couch and TV. Perhaps, after abandoning their pot-induced hippie days,
they coasted through their twenties and thirties with no exercise.
During their forties as their weight increased and breathing labored,
reality set in. In search for something more rigorous than
lifting a can of beer, they are not motivated by jogging, tread
mills, or triathlons. Day hiking is the answer ... easy to
do and not boring.
Both groups may share the desire to
do something sporting and rigorous, yet returning to the creature
comforts of civilization: hot tub, Epicurean delights, and a good
nights sleep. The quintessential day hike can satisfy the
need for a renaissance of rigorous physical activity for the 40
plus age group, and, any other age group.
Heath Benefits: Unless you have
been living on or under a couch, you must have noticed the preponderance
of evidence claiming rigorous physical exercise is great for your
physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Studies have
shown brisk, low-sweating walking can help the heart just as well
as more vigorous activities. Furthermore, brisk walking for
10 hours or more at high altitude is marathon-like achievement
and a lot more interesting.
And for an extra bonus, rigorous physical activity may prevent or delay Alzheimer's Disease!
Day Hike? | What
is an Extreme Day Hike?
Examples | Hiking
Tips | Who is the Dayhiker?
Hiking Forum | Contact | Home
in banner advertising on DayHiker? Click
include ("display.php"); ?>
Copyright 1999 -
All rights reserved.