Remember the scene from Rocky when he’s running through the city and then completes his workout by hustling up the stairs? Urban areas can be a great place to get in an amazing workout -including hiking, including Bisbee!
Urban Hiking is a fitness trend that started in America and is based on the idea that a City can be an exciting and adventurous place to go hiking. There are many built in features such as staircases, hills, rolling streets and sidewalks that lend themselves very well to a heart pumping workout!
Urban hiking burns more calories than a typical stroll and also gets you outside. Your body builds up more endurance and uses more muscles to climb up and down stairs than it does to walk along a flat surface.
I have gone many times on an urban hike during my lunch breaks and directly after work. I am a busy parent like many of you and so during the week it’s difficult to make it to a trail.
When I worked in Downtown Phoenix, I would concentrate all of my time and energy on climbing stairs. I would also stop along benches and curbs and do pushups and dips (even in my skirt with tennis shoes). I don’t know if this fortunate or unfortunate, but unless it’s super-hot, I rarely perspire so it’s never an issue for me that I will be stinky and gross after a workout.
Urban hiking also gets you out of the office which is a huge stress relief. It is not healthy to sit in front of a computer all day so take the opportunity to head outside when you can.
Great Way to Explore
Urban hiking is also a fun way to explore your city. There are many places that you probably miss just driving by. On my urban hikes, I have discovered beautiful statues, quaint little restaurants overlooking the city, and tennis courts and gardens on top of rooftops. My all-time favorite place to go urban hiking is in Bisbee, AZ. They are famous for their winding staircases around the entire city. You can pick up a map that outlines every staircase in the town. Anyone who goes up and down every staircase in Bisbee is a Super Star!
Plotting your Workout
To burn as many calories as possible, try to climb as many stairs as you can during your route to simulate a traditional hike. Also, to make it more fun, see if you can find staircases and hills that connect public roads. With Urban Hiking, you will become more aware of the infrastructure that is put in place for pedestrians.
To help you find staircases, look on Google Maps or get in the habit looking behind dead end signs. You could also do some research in your city on the various structures and buildings in your city. This site, like publicstairs.com has listings of major staircases worldwide.
To find an ultimate Urban Hike when traveling to a new place, try this this Walkonomics app, where you can find routes in almost most major cities.
So the next time you can’t climb the nearest peak, strap on your shoes and head to nearest staircase or hill. Urban Hiking is a great way to get in a workout and explore your City. It is convenient when you can’t get out to a traditional trail and it will also keep you in tip top hiking shape.
Do you have a fun Urban Hiking story or advice you would like to share? We would love to hear it, so Please comment below.