7 Reasons To Fall For Hiking

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6. Hiking touches the green movement profoundly. For 50 years or more, its exhortation to "take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints" has urged a gentle and selfless approach to life. Its international appeal dates back to ancient Greek physicians who prescribed walks as medicine and is updated almost daily with the awareness of new botanical health aids culled from far-flung corners of the earth. A friend from Peru familiar with hikes throughout the high country around storied Machu Picchu relates an anecdote featuring a tourist troubled by altitude sickness. His guide reached over for some of the fabled South American coca leaves and solved his problem by instructing him to chew them to relieve his symptoms.

7. Hiking is a family sport. There is a growing movement seeking to wrest the minds of children away from computers and expose them to the cycle of the earth. President Obama during his campaign alluded to the need for children to break away from the electronic world into the world of family.

Clothing designers, relationship experts, exercise and diet gurus, writers past and present, and a hiking guide in Peru are telling us the same thing: Man was meant to hike.

Bill Rozday grew up in western Pennsylvania and began writing at 13 years old. His latest work depicts a hike over a California mountaintop once hiked by Native Americans gathering obsidian to fashion into arrowheads. A poet as well, he has published in periodicals in Scotland and Australia. Bill is the author of The High Ground Books, a hiking series. For more information visit www.virginpinespress.com.