I have been looking back to my ghosts of weight loss success past and my time hiking on the Appalachian Trail comes to mind.
Mathematically speaking, WHEN I was hiking the trail, I was successful losing weight. The key words here are WHEN I WAS HIKING because coming back is another story.
But hiking is weight loss gold. The average Thru Hiker burns 4000-6000 calories a day. This means that even a fatty like myself will lose weight while hiking no matter how much food he eats (when hiking).
The reason for the huge daily calorie burn is because hikers hike ALL DAY. That is really all I hiker does after breakfast to coming into camp. We are talking 8-10 hours of hiking. At 500-650 calories an hour, that starts to add up quick.
Picture your last hour session on the elliptical and times that by ten.
Case in point, a buddy has started posting his runs on facebook. Here was his last run. Here runs at a good pace, but how many runs does he do, 3-5 a week for about 30 minutes?
So I thought, “What if I can take the hiker model and apply it to the “real world?”
If I took one day a week and “Hiked” (on the trail I would hike six days a week) I would burn more calories then a good week or two of going to the gym assuming a 1-2 hour aerobic session per gym visit.
A full day on the trail or in my case the 1.4 hiking loop in my town park would equal 8-10 exercise machine session.
I like those numbers. So I created a plan. I call it my Urban Thru Hiker Plan.
Unlike hiking the actual trail, this is ONLY one hiking day a week.
It is kind of the whussiest plan there is for actual thru hikers. For those hikers reading this, imagine a distance hike where you only hiked one full day a week, ridiculous right?
But in the real world, a full day seems massive, extreme, not practical in the least, the stuff of Forrest Gump like singular focus. “I just felt like walking.”
Unlike actually hiking in the woods, my Urban hiker plan means no sleeping in the woods, I walk on wide manicured trails, having access to treated water (a water fountain every 1.4 miles), a bathroom, a shower at home waiting for me, a comfy bed to sleep in and picnic lunches with fresh fruit and even a Whole Foods Market about 10 minutes off the trail.
It is comfort hiking to the extreme. And I don’t even need to carry a pack.
Now non-hiker might not get my plan, but distance hikers will see the merit and even ease of this plan.
The idea here is that a full day on the Urban “Trail” will add up to 4000-6000 calories burned and/or over one pound of exercise burning weight loss a week.