Learning To Love Exercise By Hiking With Ladies In Motion

As a child, teenager and young adult, I was never an athletic or outdoors type.  I loved being in the sunshine and water, but that was about it. Through the many years I struggled to incorporate exercise into my life. I would have viewed the talk here about “loving exercise” as ridiculous.

But the best advice I received was from a doctor who said, “Find some activity you enjoy and it won’t be exercise, but your choice of recreation.” 

It was late in coming, but I finally found an activity that I love – HIKING.  Because hiking is my choice of recreation, I mark it on the calendar and schedule around it.  Since I greatly  look forward to the activity, there is the added incentive of keeping it a priority.

Hiking – A Friendship Activity With Serious Goals

Hiking is not an activity that should be done alone because of safety concerns, so I invited a friend to come with me.  She got hooked as well…and so we were off.  We began with easy, short hikes and increased the length and difficulty as our fitness level increased.hiker group

The second year I began logging our hiking trips and after a few months decided to set a goal of hiking 100 miles by the end of the year.  It would require some focus and priority, but to hike 100 miles was very doable.  We would need to hike about 8 ½ miles per month.

Our goal could be accomplished with two hikes per month at a little over 4 miles for each hike.  At this writing, we’ve accomplished this 100 mile goal 2 years in a row and working on our 3rd year.

Our women hiking proves that fitness built around achievement and fun is contagious.

As we began talking with other women about our activity, word spread and we soon had ladies contacting us about joining one of our hikes.  It was then I decided to start a group and named it Ladies In Motion.

hikers stopping to lookOur approach to hiking was not just trekking the miles, but taking the time to appreciate the beauty, whether a grand waterfall or a simple wildflower.

While our hikes are challenging, they certainly are not considered extreme by most standards.  This makes it appealing to ladies, wives and mothers who do not have time to condition for extreme activity, but want to enjoy an active lifestyle.  Everyone in the group is over 40, with ages ranging from mid-40’s to mid-60’s.

Most of our hikes are 4-6 miles, with the trails rated moderate to strenuous.  Our longest hike has been 8 miles in a day.

We have taken a 2 day trip and hiked a total of 12 miles.  However, since we are not extreme, we did not camp overnight in the woods. Instead we stayed overnight in a beautiful cabin.

Motivation for fitness is training for a passion in life.

Hiking is a great motivator in staying focused on my regular exercise program.  I no longer approach exercise as routine or optional, but rather as “training” for my hikes.hikers taking the trail

On the days I don’t feel like walking, I remind myself I will not be able to trek up the side of a mountain if I don’t regularly walk hills. I won’t be able to last through difficult stretches of trail, hills and rocks without committing to weight workouts in between the hikes.

This change in attitude has kept my dedication to a regular workout consistent, enjoyable and rewarding.

Ladies In Motion tag line is: “Dedicated to an active lifestyle, so the body can keep up with the heart’s desires”.

Our heart’s desire can be as big as hiking 100 miles in a year or as small as energy to complete daily errands.  Certainly, a big part of our heart’s desire is to have energy to play with our children and grandchildren.

Leading an active lifestyle increases physical strength and endurance, so we can participate in the life activities we enjoy.