Hiking and running are two of the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S.
According to the 2018 Outdoor Participation Report (published by The Outdoor Foundation) almost 45 million Americans (15.1% of the population) went hiking at least once in 2017. It’s the 4th favorite outdoor activity for ages 6 and above (after running/jogging, biking and fishing).
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 of dollars 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 a local park.
Unfortunately, I’m no longer a runner. I traded it in for walking in my late 40s when I kept experiencing annoying little injuries. But when I was a runner, my #1 reason for doing it 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(ed) to love doing both. If you do too, dig in!