Head 2 Head

Gym vs. hiking
Hiking and going to the gym both provide different mental and health benefits. Editor Adaleigh Weber and Editor-in-Chief Adeline Harper discuss their opinions on which activity is more beneficial.
Hiking and going to the gym both provide different mental and health benefits. Editor Adaleigh Weber and Editor-in-Chief Adeline Harper discuss their opinions on which activity is more beneficial.
Adeline Harper
Hit the gym

Any gym-goer will tell you how amazing it is to workout at the gym. From being able to workout whatever you want, to knowing someone is there to help you, going to the gym has amazing life benefits. 

Lots of gyms are also open 24/7, while hiking trails typically close around sundown.”

— Editor-in-Chief Adeline Harper

There are around 113,326 gyms across America, all with their own audience. Some gyms are built mainly for those who want to stay active and healthy but do not want to focus on weightlifting, while other gyms are built for those whose main goal is to build as much muscle as possible. 

Lots of gyms are also open 24/7, while hiking trails typically close around sundown, which can be a problem for anyone who has a busy schedule or wants to work out early in the morning.

As opposed to nature trails, which are typically secluded, gyms are usually populated with active members. No matter what gym type suits your individual needs, there will always be other gym-goers who will support you and help you on your fitness journey. Not only can people give you support, but they can also act as a helper for safety and first aid in case something goes wrong. 

All gyms come in different shapes and sizes both on the inside and the outside, but all gyms are known for their versatility. Working out at a gym allows you to exercise different parts of your body such as arms, back, shoulders, chest, legs, and even heart. Having a balanced physique and good body proportions is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That way not one body part is too overworked. 

Not only will your body be getting stronger, but your mentality and body image will benefit, too. 

From cardio, to hitting leg day, to even making friends, the gym gives a variety of benefits.”

— Editor-in-Chief Adeline Harper

Most gyms also offer classes and trainers outside of just regular cardio or weight training such as yoga or cycling workouts. Not only that, but some gyms have swimming pools and saunas that can help you lose weight, reduce pain, and regulate cardiovascular functions. 

Gyms are also perfect for any city-dweller that might not have access to local hiking trails or parks. In Atlanta alone, there are around 1,497 gyms. Gyms in cities have also made news headlines for helping homeless people by letting them take showers, workout, and eat within the gym without having to pay.

In the end, the gym allows for so much versatility and can accomplish anything hiking can. From cardio, to hitting leg day, to even making friends, the gym gives a variety of benefits. So what are you waiting for? Hit the gym!

Take a hike

It is a cool, sunny day. Perfect for a hike. So you put on your running shoes, drive to your nearest hiking trail, and venture off with a bottle of water and a walking stick in your hand. 

Had a stressful week? Walking it off while immersed in nature is a healthy way to release stress

Think about it like unlocking a new level in a video game.”

— Editor Adaleigh Weber

Your mental health will thank you if you choose to take a hike. As you take in your surroundings with your eyes, ears, and nose, you release any tensions you may have built up over time, which can lead to a lower risk for depression, reduce stress, and calm anxiety.

There are many benefits associated with hiking. You can build strong muscles and bones while improving your sense of balance, improve your heart health, and decrease your risk of some respiratory problems.

Another reason to choose hiking over going to the gym is because there are so many places to hike. No matter what gym you go to, the environment is generally the same: equipment is everywhere, there is a mirror somewhere, and it is indoors.

In the United States, there are over 400 national parks to explore, with a variety of hiking trails to choose from ranging from easy to complex trails, which you can work your way up to. 

Think about it like unlocking a new level in a video game, except hiking gets your body moving and your blood pumping while lowering your stress. 

Your choice to take a hike will rejuvenate your mind and body.”

— Editor Adaleigh Weber

If you have a moment where you are overwhelmed with work or school and would like to be alone, hiking trails are for the most part secluded, and as long as you stay on the trail, you do not have to worry about getting lost or anything dangerous. Just check the weather beforehand. 

Of course, you do not have to hike alone. Make it a fun way to hang out with your family, friends, or romantic partner. Bring a picnic basket and blanket and hike a trail until you find a quiet space to set up. Many hiking trails have designated spaces for outings with picnic tables and grills. 

Whether you choose to hike in a forest, near a river, to a waterfall, or to an open field for a picnic, your choice to take a hike will rejuvenate your mind and body. 

So, if you have time this weekend or later on today, look up your nearest hiking trail and take a hike.

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About the Contributors
Adeline Harper, Editor-in-Chief
Senior 3rd year with The Prowler   As Editor-in-Chief for this year, I am excited to be back on The Prowler. Outside of journalism, I enjoy listening to music, quilting, being outdoors, lifting weights, and researching new facts about my favorite subjects, which include music history, reptiles and amphibians, anatomy, and nature in general.
Adaleigh Weber, Editor
Senior 2nd year with The Prowler News & Features Editor   I am excited to be a part of the editorial staff this year and to help make The Prowler as great as it can be. I am a member of the color guard in the Starr’s Mill Panther Pride marching band, and I enjoy creative writing and art in my free time. I am always willing to take on new opportunities in life.

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