Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes

(National Forest of Seven Hills)
Tomar, Portugal

My non-relationship with exercise.

lifestyle design

If you’ve been around these parts long enough, you’d know that one of the banes of my life is exercise. I should do it to be healthy, but I don’t. I’ve tried all sorts of things – jogging, lifting light weights, home exercises, tennis… but none of them lasted long. I have absolutely no discipline at all and I hate getting hot and sweaty. Honestly, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just plain lazy.

Hiking for exercise.

This week I decided to change my routine by scheduling a morning walk in the forest in town. It has really hilly terrain and long trails so I knew that I would be getting a decent workout. I must say that I had very little expectations with regards to how much I would enjoy it, but the experience truly took me by surprise. The brisk morning air, fresh greenery and scent of the plants made hiking in the forest extremely refreshing. I also took my time taking in the views contemplatively (I had plenty to think about). Overall, it was very very pleasant indeed.

The benefits.

This isn’t a scientific breakdown of the benefits of walking/hiking by any means, but rather a list of things that I appreciate about this form of exercise.

  • You can do it at your own pace. Moderate your intensity based on the terrain (hilly or flat) and with your speed (a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk).
  • And you can do it pretty much anywhere. The street, the park, the gym… wherever strikes your fancy.
  • Plus, there’s no equipment required, just comfortable walking shoes.
  • It’s also really relaxing.

In conclusion, I like it. But the true test of how much I truly enjoy it, is really how long this lasts. How frequently will I go for these walks or hikes in the future? The verdict is still out on that one.

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