wow…Colorado is a very fit state

According to the Washington Post less than 20% of adults are obese in Colorado. Doesn’t that make you wonder “What is their secret?”

Source: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

Hold on to your chair because I think I might know the answer, it’s just a guess but…it’s got to be the mountains. About sixty percent of Colorado’s land surface is covered by mountains. Think about it, if you live in a mountain town chances are wherever you go there is always bound to be an uphill. This means it takes twice as long and much more energy to walk, cycle, jog etc. anywhere. Add to that the fact that if you visit a lot of trails (which everyone seems to do) you must carry a lot with you, in a pack of some sort. Things like water, snacks, TP, rain gear etc. add more weight to the walk which of course requires more energy.

On a recent visit I was humbled by the young folks. They are out and about scurrying like ants on a hill. They trotted past me when I was finding balance points on boulders, they carried backpacks the size of small campers while fording streams, they bike – everywhere, effortlessly, and it always seems to be uphill.

I never saw any health clubs or fitness centers or overweight people for that matter.

Hiking in the mountain highlands, I quickly learned you earn ‘it’. ‘It’ being your drinks of water, your snacks, your evening hot tub and of course a fine meal before bed. You also earn ‘it’ because more trails, sidewalks and roads are up than down. There is really no other way. Gone is lazy, because once you commit to the activity, you’re in “it”.

They are not wimpy in Colorado, their trails between the peaks are not smoothly paved like here at home in Chicago. Most of the trails are in a natural state, made up of leftover glacial rock, boulders, streams, mud and gravel. There are switchbacks and steep downhills. It doesn’t matter if you are walking, riding an animal, in a vehicle, cycling or 4 wheeling. Your heart gets pounding.

There is a reason why the Olympians train in Colorado and everyone else is fit no matter their age, they live in Colorado because they can say to the rest of us…


Love this.... it's so us!! Is hiking your gym? Camping? Just being outdoors?

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