Hiking New Year’s Resolutions

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This is the time of the year where people make New Year’s Resolutions. Most revolve around health and the outdoors.

  • Lose weight
  • Hike, bike or run more
  • Eat better

You know the type of resolution I’m talking about. This is especially true since the media has saturated our minds with health concerns. I don’t feel qualified to give anyone health advice but I often get asked about “how to start hiking” or “how I’ve managed to stay thin”. After someone asks, she or he proceeds to tell me about their knee, back, or foot problems. It’s hard to then say “just do it”.

I’m tempted to just offer two trite but true sayings.

Eat less and exercise more

You can’t write a book based on this saying but it works. In town, I don’t worry about how far I have to walk to where I’m going. I take the stairs when I can find them – not that easy in many buildings.

I long decided that potato and corn chips, french fries (not served in France) and fluffy birthday cakes are not eatable and I haven’t touched those (and many other nonfoods) in decades.

No pain, no gain

Remember Jane Fonda? I do. I exercised to her tapes and the saying makes a lot of sense. If you’re new to exercise, you’re going to be sore the next day. So what! That just means that you’re not exercising enough.

Exercise six days a week. Go to the gym, take a fast-paced walk for an hour. Go on a hike, a real hike. And the following is probably the most controversial thing I say.

Any adult in good health can walk 6 to 8 miles a day – and enjoy it

Join a hiking club. There are hiking clubs all over the world and they welcome beginners. If you live in Western North Carolina, try the Carolina Mountain Club. We’re a friendly bunch of people and you don’t need to know anyone to come along.

Join Friends of the Smokies and come on our monthly hikes.

I too have some hiking resolutions. I need to ramp up the ascents on my hikes. I’ve done many near-flat hikes this past year. But in July, I’m taking my granddaughter to Family Nature Summits in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s steep, rocky and at high altitude so I better be prepared.

Happy Hiking Year!


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