Take a Hike!


Indy and me-hiking-10-4-13

A post by writer and anthologist June Cotner:

When I’ve been sitting at my desk too long, I crave getting away from all technology and taking a “nature” break to refresh my spirit. While I enjoy walking my dog around town, it’s not the same as hiking with him in the wilderness. I just read an article that stated how important it is to find a type of exercise that you love—and hiking is that for me.

My dog, Indy, a chocolate lab/Doberman mix, walks perfectly at my pace. When we’re going down a rocky hill, he slows down for me. When we need to get around a mucky area, he tucks right in behind me as I pick my way through the mud. As I’m walking through the wilderness, I’m filled with a sense of peace and thoughts of work never cross my mind.

I love the sense of adventure that hiking offers. I live one hour away from the Olympic Mountains and just 15 minutes away from a huge wilderness area. Within the wilderness area, there are many turns and a lot of alternate routes, so I have frequent opportunities to explore trails I’ve never hiked before—with map in hand! Just as in life, I like the thrill of not knowing what’s around the next bend. Hopefully not a bear!

After 15 minutes of vigorous hiking, I work up a sweat, so I often need three handkerchiefs: one tied around my neck, another on my head, and a third one in my pocket. I’m drenched by the time I get back to my car, but I love the physical exertion of hiking!

This well-earned sweat can pay off in other ways, too. Recently I was happy to learn that vigorous exercise helps brain activity. According to Newsweek, “Almost every dimension of cognition improves from thirty minutes of aerobic exercise, and creativity is no exception. The type of exercise doesn’t matter, and the boost lasts for at least two hours afterward.”

I’m 63 now, and another reason I like to hike is to prove to myself that I still can! I know that building up my leg muscles will help keep me strong. I have back pain from time to time due to compressed vertebrae. My doctor said one of the best things I can do for myself is to walk every day. It really does make a difference. When I couple hiking and walking with yoga stretches, I stay pain free—and that is something to celebrate!

Indy’s Story:  Indy, now 3-1/2 years old, is a Chocolate Lab/Doberman mix. In May 2011 he graduated from Freedom Tails, a ten week program at Stafford Creek Corrections Center (Aberdeen, Washington), in which prisoners train shelter dogs and give them excellent socialization and obedience skills.

(c) 2013 by June Cotner

June Cotner, Dogs, and Trainers

Freedom Trails:  Check out the Freedom Trails website here. Their Facebook page is here.   Read their newsletter:  Freedom Tails Sept Oct 2013.

June Cotner is the author of Gratitude Prayers and 27 more books and products bringing “A World of Inspiration!”  Follow her on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Check out June’s website at   www.JuneCotner.com and her author page on Amazon.com.

June Cotner

Here are the covers to six of June’s vibrant and moving anthologies:

SOAR! cover



Gratitude Prayers

Wedding Blessings


14 responses »

  1. 🕘very encouraging post to get us moving by June Cotner! I love hiking as well and try to walk 2 miles daily. I won the Gratitude Prayers book thru your blog and it has become one of my favorite books to go back to for anytime affirmations. I will be checking her other books!!

  2. Cute dog to hike with! I wish I liked hiking. It always sounds like fun, but once out there I just don’t like it. I know I am odd that way. But I have never been an outdoor person even as a child. I will stick to my treadmill and my screened porch.

    • Hi Gail, I really admire you that you can keep motivated on a treadmill. That’s how my daughter trains for her marathons and ultra-marathons. It’s always important to find a form of exercise that we can do regularly. ~ June Cotner

    • Wow! Three long walks! That’s fantastic, Helene! You’ve probably read a lot of the studies that show that dog owners are more active than those without dogs. I often walk after work and sometimes at night. If I didn’t have Indy’s soulful eyes looking at me (and following me around to make sure I take him for a walk), I know that very often I would be inclined to “cancel” the planned walk. ~ June Cotner

  3. I also love hikiing and the woods are my favorite hiking place. So many benefits beyond exercise.
    Love the excitement of what’s around the bend too!! Thanks for this great post! Sweet dog!!

    • Hi Judy, Thanks so much for your great comments. Being a writer, I do often enjoy thinking about work, but when I’m in the wilderness, I don’t, and I think that’s very good for me to escape all thoughts of work and simply enjoy the time in the woods. ~ June Cotner

  4. Hi Barbara, The “Take a Hike” article that you urged me to submit was just published in a regional glossy magazine, Viking Life. They aren’t online so I’ll mail you a copy of the article. Barbara, thank you so much for giving me the nudge I needed. Now … for the article about my 20-year game plan!

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