As a physician, I know that aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, biking and swimming, is good for your health. This type of exercise has been shown to be important in the treatment and prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, adult-onset diabetes, constipation, arthritis and osteoporosis. It is also helpful in the management of depression and a variety of stress-related conditions.
As a naturalist, I tend to recommend hiking. This activity combines aerobic exercise with the therapeutic benefits of nature. A frequent patron of multi-use trails, I often wonder about the runners as they labor past me, checking their watches, and the trail bikers who sprint along at high speed or bomb down the winding mountain trails. Neither seem to appreciate their surroundings; they might as well use the city streets or the local stadium track.
While I appreciate the value of competitive sports, I must also recommend the health benefits of a walk in the woods. Nature, in all its complexity, has a calming effect on our minds and souls. It is peaceful and unhurried. Try losing yourself in its sights, sounds and smells; you will feel the stress melt away!