Hike Your Way to Healthy

Getting outside does more than give you a good source of vitamin D. According to Every Body Walk, hiking can increase your longevity.  One way is by decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.  The article also describes the increase in happiness that accompanies going for a hike. A study completed by Carnegie Mellon University, found that people who are happy tend to be sick less often.  So work hiking outside into your workout routine for additional results.


Boundary Waters Among Areas at Risk

Valuing development over conservation can permanently affect many areas all over the world. Are corporations selling our future?  Number 10 on a list put together by Doug Schnitzspahn of National Geographic, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota is at risk from Sulfide Mining.  That area is not alone.  Temperance Flat in California and parts of the Appalachian Trail are also at risk from the conflict between immediate human need and conservation.  Perhaps Lyndon B. Johnson said it best, “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”


Camping, a Lesson in Gratitude

I have been blessed by challenging and interesting camping trips.  Inevitably, at some point during the trip, I swear off camping and hiking forever.  For that I am truly grateful and it’s one of the reasons that I always head back into the wilderness whenever I can.  Does this seem contradictory?  Let me explain.  It’s the moments that are the most challenging that offer the greatest opportunity for sincere gratitude.  Only going without a shower and being very dirty, allows me to fully appreciate running, hot, water.  Being on the trail with an empty water bottle, makes me thankful for being able to drink my fill.  These simple tasks that most people take for granted, become experiences that border on spiritual.  Camping allows me to feel grateful for everything about a kitchen- refrigeration, running tap water, a stove and a sink- and everything about a bathroom-flush toilet (need I say more?)  Being out in the wilderness, carrying everything on my back, and struggling against my own limitations, compels me to reset.  I come home with a profound sense of gratitude, some pretty great pictures and amazing memories of all the things that went right.  So while camping appreciate the hardships.  They may be your greatest gift.