What is Hikercise?
Every Hikercise experience is a unique opportunity to ignite and achieve our own optimal Whole Body experience.
There are a variety of ways Hikercise affects the Whole Body. A principle component of the Hikercise experience is the optional use of wrist weights. While we walk or hike in spectacular natural settings, we perform a variety of upper-body and arm exercises, rooted in yogic, and other, philosophies, thus stimulating the body and brain, and infusing us with vitality inside and out!
We hikercise anywhere outdoors, from our forests, hills and mountains to our parks, river trails, and the beach. We are receptive to our surroundings and let the terrain guide our experience.
What are the benefits of Hikercise?
The Whole Body response reaches beyond the obvious physical benefits, creating a positive and personal experience for each Hikerciser. Hikercisers are experiencing an array of physical and mental benefits. Coupled with our universal love of walking, stretching and strengthening our legs, Hikercise brings strength, tone and flexibility to the upper body. In addition, increased bone density is a hugely important benefit of the use of the wrist weights and repetitive resistance work. The cardiovascular work strengthens our hearts and lungs, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and anxiety, and positively improves our overall energy and endurance.
Furthermore, Hikercisers claim higher physical and cognitive performance levels. It takes practice to walk or hike while engaged in arm exercises, thus stimulating communication between our left- and right-brain hemispheres, and thereby yielding a ripple-effect of benefits throughout our body.
People are asymmetrical. Anywhere we have two body parts--two legs, two arms, two eyes, two lungs, two halves of a brain, etc.. we have a dominant body part. In order to experience symmetry, we need to actively unite and harmonize our left- and right-brain hemispheres. By doing so, thus creating internal and external body symmetry, we experience myriad benefits:
Cognitive benefits include increased concentration and focus, increased reading comprehension, increased memory retention, and even improved peace of mind. Enhanced physical benefits include improved physical balance and coordination, and improved muscle strength in our body and organs, as well as renewed organ functioning.
Moreover, for some Hikercisers, moving beyond self-consciousness has been a tremendous benefit. Initially, some Hikercisers may feel silly as we collectively wave and whirl our Whole Body through our local wilderness areas. However, the physical and mental benefits far outweigh any self-consciousness that soon disappears during our very satisfying and rewarding Hikercising experience.
Inevitably, Hikercisers are moved by camaraderie and support of one another as we, with great fun and great humor, thrive in sharing our Hikercise experience together in the Great Outdoors!
Are there other components to Hikercise?
For those who are interested, yes. The Whole Body experience extends beyond the physical, carrying the positive mental outlook we strive for while Hikercising, to our daily lives.
My personal hiking experience has been so much more than physical, as it tends to be for most folks. I incorporate mantras and visuals that have been the foundation of my healing and a component of Hikercise that I will share with those who are interested. Some participants will only want the physical experience, which is absolutely acceptable and truly satisfying, and some participants may want more.
Hikercise is a way for each person to find his or her own optimal Whole Body experience, be it physical or beyond. There will be aspects of Hikercise that resonate more or less with each individual. We only offer suggestions and ideas. The point is to make the experience your very own.
How did Hikercise begin?
Thank you for asking. I have been using wrist weights for almost twenty years on my own, and over the years people often ask "what do you do?" My answer has always been "I hike with wrist weights," however, I never actually explain what I "do." I am now very excited to share my Hikercise experience with you.
I used to hike the northern California hills with a friend who would hike wearing ankle weights. The idea to purchase wrist weights and incorporate arm exercises into my hiking experience soon followed. Needless to say, I would get a few stares along the way, and even one regular hiker who would look up at the sky while I was Hikercising by him and say, "I am still looking for those airplanes you are trying to land!"
Ever since then, while using the wrist weights and engaging in arm and upper-body exercises while hiking, I have experienced benefits that extend well beyond the physical. If ever I take a walk without the use of my wrist weights, it always seems to me half the experience.
Anyone! Any person who likes to walk or hike is a candidate for hikercising! Men, women, old and young love the benefits of the Whole Body experience. We have Senior, Junior, Prenatal, Therapeutic, Healing and Mindful Hikercisers. We offer low, medium and high impact Hikercise classes.
Do you participate in an organized hiking group?
Call Hikercise, and we will be glad to come to you!
Are you having a party, and needing a clever activity idea?
Hikercise is happily available for special events and parties. Please inquire.
Where and when do you Hikercise?
Please refer to our Schedule web page. Locations may change depending on the season and trail availability.
Is Hikercise in other locations beside Durango CO?
Not yet. Please feel free to contact Mimi Gates at Contact with any interest of starting up your own local Hikercise experience.
How much does a Hikercise class cost?
Please see our Pricing web page.
Does Hikercise have a business permit to operate?
Yes, Hikercise is permitted and insured for commercial use on our local BLM and National Forest Service land through USFS Columbine Ranger District and Field office located in Bayfield CO.
What supplies do Hikercisers need?
We recommend carrying water, however, a backpack can impede upper-body movements. Carrying water in a fanny- or waist-pack of some sort is ideal. Also, we suggest dressing in layers to account for potential weather changes during our hour.
How can we reach you?
Contact us with any questions and comments. We welcome your feedback!