Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Health Benefits of Hiking Washington DC

Want to lose weight and get into shape? Don't diet, hike it. Cheaper than a health club, more accessible than a swimming pool, easier than riding a bike, less time-consuming than weight training and more stimulating than an hour on a treadmill, hiking is the number one way to get healthy-and stay that way. Want to lose weight and get into shape? Hiking is the number one way to get healthy. A camping vacation is an additional way to make it fun.

Cherry Hill Park*
(800) 314-9308
9800 Cherry Hill Rd
College Park, MD
Campground Availability
Open All Year
Services
Control Access Gate, Standard Flush, Basins, Hot Showers, Dump Station, Non Guest Dumping Allowed
Policies
Partial Handicap Access, Accomodates Big Rigs, Clubs Welcome, Pets OK
Additional Facilities
Picnic Tables, RV Supplies, RV Storage, Fire Rings, Ice, Wood, Laundry, Limited Groceries, LP Gas by Weight, LP Gas by Meter
Recreation
Rec Hall, Rec Room, Pavilion, Equipped Pavilion, Coin Games, Pool, Wading Pool, Hot Tub, Pond Fishing, Playground, Mini Golf, Planned Group Activities, Basketball, Golf Nearby, Hiking Trails, Local Tours

Data Provided by:
MILITARY PARK (FAMCAMP-Andrews AFB)
(301) 981-4109
Morningside, MD
Campground Availability
Open all Year
Services
Standard Flush, Basins, Hot Showers, Dump Station
Additional Facilities
Picnic Tables, Grills, Laundry
Recreation
Playground, Horseshoes

Data Provided by:
Lake Fairfax Park (Fairfax County Park)*
(703) 471-5415
1400 Lake Fairfax Drive
Reston, VA
Campground Availability
Open All Year
Services
Standard Flush, Basins, Hot Showers, Dump Station
Policies
Pets OK
Additional Facilities
Picnic Tables, Grills, Fire Rings, Limited Groceries
Recreation
Pool, Boating, Canoeing, Lake Fishing, Playground, Sports Field, Hiking Trails

Data Provided by:
Greenbelt NP (Greenbelt Campground)
(301) 344-3948
Greenbelt, MD
Campground Availability
Open all Year
Services
Standard Flush, Basins, Hot Showers, Dump Station
Policies
Family Camp
Additional Facilities
Picnic Tables, Grills, Wood
Recreation
Playground, Planned Group Activities, Hiking Trails

Data Provided by:
Pohick Bay Regional Park*
(703) 339-6104
6501 Pohick Bay Dr
Lorton, VA
Campground Availability
Open All Year
Services
Standard Flush, Basins, Hot Showers, Dump Station
Policies
Partial Handicap Access, Pets OK
Additional Facilities
Picnic Tables, Grills, Fire Rings, Ice, Wood, Laundry, Limited Groceries
Recreation
Pavilion, Pool, Float Trips, Canoeing, Kayaking, Mini Golf, Golf Nearby, Hiking Trails

Data Provided by:
Burke Lake Park (Fairfax County Park Authority)*
(703) 323-6600
7315 Ox Rd
Fairfax Station, VA
Campground Availability
Mid Apr-Last Weekend of Oct
Services
Standard Flush, Basins, Hot Showers, Dump Station
Policies
Pets OK
Additional Facilities
Picnic Tables, Grills, Fire Rings, Ice, Wood, Limited Groceries
Recreation
Boating, Lake Fishing, Fishing Supplies, Playground, Mini Golf, Volleyball, Golf Nearby, Hiking Trails

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Health Benefits of Hiking

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Why Not Go Hiking to Lose Weight and Stay in Shape?

A Step in the Right Direction
By Gwyn Fletcher

Want to lose weight and get into shape? Don't diet, hike it. Cheaper than a health club, more accessible than a swimming pool, easier than riding a bike, less time-consuming than weight training and more stimulating than an hour on a treadmill, hiking is the number one way to get healthy-and stay that way. As the fitness craze continues to gain steam, it's not surprising that hiking is the fastest growing outdoor activity. According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association Sports & Fitness Participation Report (2009), Americans remain very interested in outdoor sports in spite of economic woes. Leading outdoor activities are freshwater fishing (40.3 million), bicycling (38.1 million), camping (33.7 million), and day hiking (32.5 million).

Why is hiking winning the outdoor popularity contest? For starters, it's dirt cheap-literally. All you need is some ground to walk on and a sturdy pair of shoes that will support your ankles and serve as shock absorbers. Whether it's on a neighborhood trail or a mountain ridge, hiking is merely taking a walk on a foot path, and even that is open to your own interpretation. Unlike health clubs and private gyms, hiking requires no membership dues or monthly payments-you can even bring a friend along without purchasing a guest pass. And you don't have to go back to the same area every time, or pay a transfer fee if you want to try someplace new.

Hiking is also an accessible activity. For example, swimming is an excellent form of exercise, but it's pretty hard to do without a large body of water. And, once the temperature starts to drop, that swimming hole needs to be indoors, often bringing the cost up and the convenience level down even further. To go for a hike, the only place you need to get to is outdoors. Hiking is usually as close as a local park.

Just as you don't need any special equipment for hiking, you also don't need any special skills. Just put one foot in front of the other. As with any physical activity, if you're not currently following a regular fitness routine, you'll want to start out slow, taking leisurely strolls three or four times a week and gradually building your distance and rate. Your first step should always be a quick muscle stretch.

"Things will slow down next month, then I'll have time to get in shape." How many times have you heard that one, or said it yourself? Chances are, things aren't going to slow down. And the older we get, the higher our risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and other complications directly or indirectly linked to a lack of physical activity. It takes time to get in shape. In order to gain maximum benefits from a weight training program, you need to spend several hours a week pressing those bars and priming those muscles. Aerobics classes often last up to an hour as well. Unfortunately, time isn't something...

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