Every New Year, scores of San Diegans promise themselves this is their year to get fit. But with the prospect of boring treadmill duty stretched yawningly before them, it’s no wonder so many New Year’s fitness resolutions fail.
Often right outside our office doors or a quick hop from home, many natural preserves and open space parks offer flat ground that allows for easy hiking. Even people who are not so physically fit can enjoy nature, and make their fitness regime fun.
A reader recently told me she’d lost weight using a treadmill in 2004. Too bad she hated every minute on the machine – – – literally, time spent going nowhere. Her New Year’s resolution is to use some of the shorter hikes presented in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: San Diego as her weekend reward.
Is your exercise a reward? Try getting out into nature. In San Diego, we’re fortunate to have several hiking areas that don’t require you to “rough it.” Often with learning opportunities and restrooms, San Diego’s natural preserves and open space parks offer a pleasant pastime while getting fit. In our mild climate, just a few steps from city streets, birds sing, flowers bloom, and the Zen-song of trickling
water drifts into the soul. In the great outdoors, even the rushing wind seems to say “hush-hush,” quieting the mind and spirit.
This New Year’s, make getting fit rewarding to the soul as well as the body. Step off the treadmill and step onto a San Diego hiking trail.
On average, hiking burns approximately 500 calories per hour (more or less depending on your weight, pace, terrain, etc).
To get started, choose short, easy hikes (see the three listed on the left). Then consult the book’s individual trail write ups. These and many others in the book are perfect for beginning hikers starting a New Year’s fitness plan that beats the exercise equipment doldrums. A few steps into nature and you’ll be hooked . . . ready to try more San Diego hikes, which are categorized in the book by length, ease, and criteria including wildlife and water features.
As a native San Diegan and author of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: San Diego, let me figuratively take you by the hand, and guide you along the trail. I’ll point out native plants, flowers, birds and other wildlife . . . and remind you to relax.
This New Years, step off the treadmill and into the serenity of the great outdoors. Let nature transform you – – – in body and mind!