Key 7: Movement

Virtual Hikes-Scale Mountains and Run Beaches Without Leaving the Gym

Virtual Hikes

Virtual Hikes. Go take a hike! Normally when someone tells you to go take a hike, it’s not a nice thing. In this case, it is. We’re burning calories by moving through this month of Enchanted Key #7. I’d like to share my experience with virtual hikes.

Virtual Hikes on A Treadmill

I’ve been a dancer and gym rat for years, and then my husband and I made it a family routine to go to the gym every day after work with our children. While I’ve walked on a treadmill for years, it’s only recently that I discovered that there are virtual hikes to follow. Instead of watching the dreaded news on the monitors, there are simulated hikes that take you through famous trails. Our gym has LifeFitness treadmills that offer various courses to view while you set the speed and elevation.


The Grand Staircase Hike

Recently, I virtually hiked The Grand Staircase, in Bryce Canyon National Park through Zion National Park and into the Grand Canyon. The Grand Staircase is comprised of layers and layers of sedimentary rock that appears as a huge stairway ascending out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon toward the north, with the cliff edge of each layer forming giant steps.

It is said to be unique because it “preserves more Earth history than any other place on Earth.”

Most places have been damaged by glaciers or other events and yet, Grand Staircase is, for the most part, intact, displaying a 600 million year plus history of the Earth.

Perks of the Virtual Route

One of the many cool things about virtual hikes is that I’m rather fearful of heights and yet, I was way up at the peak of the mountaintops, enjoying the view of the vistas below, without fear. I hung on the precipice of sheer cliffs, smiling and relaxed. I trotted along, unconcerned about tripping and falling off the edge.

Vary the View With Perfect Conditions Every Time

I’ve taken sunrise hikes and sunset lake-view treks. I’ve scaled snow-topped mountains and run with antelope. All from the comfort of my gym’s treadmill. The temperature is always perfect. I never get a sunburn, frostbite, or lost. If I feel tired or uncomfortable, I don’t have to push myself to hike all the way back. I just slow the speed on the machine and step off. Can you tell that I’m a fan? If you haven’t tried the virtual hike, check it out.

Virtual Exercise Classes

For those who have treadmills or Peloton machines at home, there’s a lot more that you can do, in addition to hiking. Virtual classes help you feel as if you’re a part of a group class, with your instructor urging you on to beat your personal best. You can work out with your virtual friends in the comfort of your own home while your child is napping.

An Enchanted Excursion

Really, nothing replaces the real thing of a hike out in nature, but there are so many perks to this virtual thing, that I urge you to try it. Even if you just get a guest pass to a gym for a day or two, consider it an enchanted excursion.

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