How Hiking Can Help You Stay Fit In Midlife

Staying fit in midlife can be challenging.  Life is busy.  You may still be working daily or family obligations might fill your schedule.  It could be that you just aren’t motivated and would rather sit on the couch and binge watch the latest Netflix series.  I get it, I really do.  As we get older, making time for fitness becomes even more important. I love to go hiking, so today I am sharing my best tips for hiking to help you stay fit, where I like to hike, and what you should make sure to take with you when you go.

Hiking to stay fit in midlife
Hiking to stay fit in midlife

Hiking Can Help You Stay Fit In Midlife

  • Hiking gets you moving.  Keeping active is important as you age.  It helps keep your muscles toned, helps with bone health, and is a great cardio work out to help keep your heart healthy.

  • Going out on a hike is great for your mental health.  Making time in your busy schedule to go for a hike can help you relax.  Getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life gives you a chance to step away from all your obligations and focus on yourself. 

  • Hiking with your spouse or family helps your relationship.  Spending time with your spouse and family without distractions is key to keeping relationships healthy.  Hiking is a great way to leave it all behind and focus on the people with you.

Hiking to stay fit in midlife

Be Prepared When You Go Hiking

  • Make sure you fuel your body before you go.  I like to go hiking in the morning, so I make sure to eat a healthy breakfast before I head out.  This is your chance to fill up on good carbs to give your body the energy it will need.

  • Wear the right kind of clothing.  Layer your clothing.  It’s easy to take a jacket off, but if it’s cold and you don’t have one you will be very uncomfortable and most likely will turn around and go home before you get very far. 

  • A good pair of shoes is important.  The type of shoes you wear depends on the type of terrain you will be hiking through.  I like to go on trails that are smoother and don’t have a lot of rocky areas so I wear a good pair of tennis shoes.  The rougher the trail the more protection you will need for your feet.

  • Take water and small snacks.  Depending on how long you will be gone, make sure you take a bottle of water and a carb filled snack with you to help keep your energy level up. I love to take rose water with me. It is full of antioxidants and you can find out how to make your own in my post The Real Benefits of Rose Water.

I love to go hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The scenery is amazing and they have trails for beginners and seasoned hikers.  The Santa Monica Mountain Recreation Area is the largest urban park in the world.  Yes, in the entire world!  And it is right in my back yard. 

Hiking Trails For Beginners

  • Franklin Canyon is a great place for beginners.  You can hike around the reservoir on a mostly flat trail.  It’s right above Beverly Hills and isn’t overly crowded.

  • Fryman Canyon is on the other side of Hollywood and has paved paths and single dirt paths that are easily conquered by a beginning hiker.

  • Runyon Canyon is great if you are feeling a little more adventurous, but is still beginner friendly.  There are some steep areas to get through, but once you make it to the top the view of the city is amazing.

Hiking to stay fit in midlife

Hiking is a great way to stay fit in midlife, but be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise. It allows you to get away from that hectic schedule of day to day and spend time with family. Make sure you are prepared before heading out by eating a good breakfast, wear the right clothing and take water and snacks with you for your hike.

Check out the AARP website to find great hiking trails where you live and be sure to get your AARP membership for discounts and other great benefits.


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