Every time I start out on a hike I am reminded of how much I prefer trails over treadmills. I get so much more from the great outdoors than I do in a stifling gym.
1. Let's start with the most basic of all needs. Oxygen. True, clean oxygen unencumbered with the stench of other's sweat and other unpleasant bodily excrements. When I think of inhaling others discarded and ill-smelling air in a gym a feeling akin to claustrophobia comes over me. That isn't a problem in the great outdoors where there is plenty of fresh air to go around. Here's an interesting article on the benefits of being in fresh air:
2. Trails don't care what you wear. I've yet to see a fashion show on a mountain. Only weather and conditions dictate what clothes you choose to wear or not to wear. So you don't have a matching outfit or the latest in gym attire? No worries, the rocks and trees won't judge you.
3. Free, natural, unfiltered or filtered (as you choose) Vitamin D can be found on the trails, not in gyms. More research is revealing that Vitamin D is necessary for promoting the absorption of calcium, which assists in bone growth. It has also been linked to a potential inhibitor of cancer cell growth, it stimulates your pancreas to make insulin and it may be an important part of the immune system to fight off sickness. I've even read that it may assist in maintaining a healthy body weight. Who doesn't want that kind of supplement? Can't find that on a treadmill.
4. Trails provide plenty of rocks. Sometimes I like to encourage people to leave a rock and a worry on cairns we find while hiking. The idea is to mentally attach anxious thoughts, concerns and worries to a rock by picking it up, placing the worry on the rock and leaving it behind with other's rocks. Just walk away from it all. I believe in my heart that we can leave our troubles behind on the trails. We can vent, meditate, process, concentrate and are better equipped to make decisions with each step. Hiking on trails is a stress relief and allows your mind to become uncluttered and clear of unease or trouble. Getting away from the world and into nature, enables you to ponder and deliberate without distraction. There are plenty of rocks for every worry. When I return home from the trails, I am rejuvenated and I have a better perspective on life. It's not quite the same experience on a treadmill, while you watch the timer and count down the seconds to how long you'll be done with your workout.
6. Trails are alive. Things grow outside. Animals thrive. You can too.
Take a hike and find yourself on a trail.