The Most Minimalist Outdoor Exercise You Can Do

I love to hike. Getting out in nature is always good for the body and the mind. I also like to run. Running is meditative and allows me to clear my head. But neither of these activities are the most minimalist outdoor exercise you can do.

I’ve always been a walker. Walking is an excellent form of exercise, and it’s very minimalist. Let’s look at the alternatives: hiking and running. How much stuff does hiking and running require? Check out these lists:

What You’ll Need For Hiking

  1. A car and fuel to get to the trailhead
  2. A backpack with extra clothing and food
  3. Emergency gear
  4. Special hiking clothes
  5. Special hiking boots
  6. Maps, compasses, tents, sleeping bags, water bottles, etc.

I think you get the idea. Hiking requires a variety of special equipment. The longer the hike, the more stuff you’ll need. It’s not the most minimalist outdoor exercise. I love hiking, but I’ve been analyzing the requirements compared to walking. Walking wins by a long shot. What about running?

What You’ll Need For Running

  1. Running shoes
  2. Running clothes
  3. Water bottle
  4. A safe running trail

The requirements for running are a little less than hiking, but you still need extra stuff. You also need to already be at a certain level of fitness in order to start running. This is why walking wins in my book. Walking takes a minimal amount of equipment and a lower level of physical readiness.

Walking Is The Most Minimalist Outdoor Exercise

Along with simple exercises such as pushups, crunches, and stretching, walking is practical and it promotes good health. 

Consider this: If I want to go hiking, I have to have a bunch of equipment. I have to load the car and drive an hour to get to the trailhead. To walk, I simply wear what I would wear for the day’s weather and step out my front door.

If I want to run, I have to dress specifically for running. Depending on where I live, I might need to drive to a good running trail. To walk, it’s just a step away from wherever I am.

Not only is walking a more minimalist outdoor exercise, it has just as many benefits as hiking and running. 

A Few Benefits Of Walking

  1. Walking keeps you on an even keel.
  2. It inspires thought and creativity.
  3. Walking gets your blood flowing.
  4. It keeps your lungs working.
  5. Walking makes your heart stronger.
  6. It works a variety of muscles.
  7. Walking helps you see the world.
  8. It builds relationships. 

These are just a few of the benefits of walking. I still love to hike and run, but I’m reconsidering those forms of exercise. I could eliminate a closet full of hiking and running gear if I just focused on walking as my primary form of outdoor exercise. 

What about you? Do you exercise? If you do, how much extra equipment do you keep laying around the house? A closet full? A garage full? If you want to declutter and stay in shape, consider the most minimalist exercise you can do: Walk.

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James Ewen
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