Hiking and Running

hiking an autumn trail
Hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota

Hiking and running are two of the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S.

According to the 2014 Outdoor Participation Report (published by The Outdoor Foundation) well over 34 million Americans (12% of the population) went hiking at least once in 2013. It’s the 5th favorite outdoor activity for ages 6 and above (after running/jogging, biking, fishing and camping).

Running, jogging and trail running — according to the same report — is the #1 most popular outdoor activity in America. That’s true for every age and racial demographic except ages 6-17, where it’s slightly edged out by biking.

What’s the difference between running and jogging? I like this definition I read once: If you’ve filled out an entrance form, it’s running!

I’d guess one of the reasons for the popularity of both is accessibility.

While we can spend hundreds on fancy high-tech gear for both hiking and running, we don’t have to if we’re just getting out for a little exercise and enjoyment.

We don’t need to travel long distances to find places to hike and run. For many of us, running is as simple as stepping out our front door. And we can usually find places for both at the local county or state park.

Personally, my  #1 reason for running is because it’s the fastest way to stay fit. My #1 reason for hiking is to see the beauty of wherever I am at the time. I happen to love doing both. If you do too, dig in!