Should Hiking Be Considered a Sport?

Many sports started out as a hobby that gradually became more popular. However, in order for a hobby to be a sport, it needs to have a competitive aspect. Collecting stamps is a hobby, but it’s not really competitive, as the only thing you can do is compare your collection to someone else’s. Video games are competitive, and those that really focus on player vs. player dynamic are now eSports. This is why it’s difficult to place hiking into the sports category because the whole concept is somewhere in the middle. So, let’s take a close look and see if hiking should be a sport. 

Can Hiking Be Competitive? 

Hiking is basically faster walking, but not fast enough to be considered running. Meaning, it’s always physically possible for hikers to go faster, and the reason they don’t is that they are not racing one another. That being said, people can compete in terms of how many miles or kilometers they can traverse during their hike. In other words, you can make it about the distance and add some rules on top to make it more interesting. However, would this be enough to make hiking a sport? 

Why Hiking Doesn’t Work as a Sport

The sport needs to be a spectacle, and people need to demonstrate their athletic fitness, fitness, endurance, or another physical aspect that would be also entertaining. Hiking, although it can test endurance, wouldn’t be too entertaining to spectate, and it would probably last for hours or days. It can be impressive to hear how many kilometres someone has passed on foot, and on difficult terrain, but no one would be interested in watching the whole thing happen. In other words, you can’t make hiking interesting without turning it into a race.

A Potential Solution

Perhaps there can be a sport that could rely on hiking but with a different theme. Hiking is about exploring nature, so why not turn it into a treasure hunt. There could be a long trail involved, but the majority of the points are scored by uncovering treasures and bringing them to the final destination. This way of running wouldn’t make sense, and the best thing to do would be to slowly explore the surroundings and find the hidden objects. 

Competitors might need to solve certain puzzles in order to get the items or at least some hints where the items could be.

It doesn’t really make the whole thing more exciting to watch, but it makes for a more entertaining competition for those who are participating. 

Conclusion 

So even if it is healthy and treated as physical activity, hiking cannot be considered a sport. It can be competitive on its own, but that doesn’t make it interesting for those who are watching. If we were to make it about speed or distance, it would no longer be considered hiking, and that’s why it can never be a sport or a stand-alone competition.  

Best Hiking Trails in Britain

The greats of history have long championed the benefits of walking, and walking might just be the best way to discover Britain. Many of the country’s finest attractions are best discovered by hiking, which makes the UK a treasure trove of natural beauty and history. 

The weather in the country might not always seem ideal, but walking to an incredible view amidst the wind never fails to amaze tourists. Plan accordingly, and you’ll enjoy an incredible experience regardless of the weather.

It is hard to find a bad hiking route in the UK, but there is something about this collection that is so inviting. Could these be the best hikes in the UK? Possibly. Let’s find out more about them!

West Highland Way

Discover one of the many Scottish mega-landscapes between Glasgow and Fort William. In addition to Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, the West Highland Way leads through lowlands covered with heather and glassy lochs, as well as steep mountain trails. It’s certainly not easy to complete the entire route; however, if you’re not fazed, you finish right at the foot of Ben Nevis.

Coast to Coast Walk

Long-distance hikers can follow this route from the Irish Sea at St Bee’s in Cumbria through the North Sea as it rolls into Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. It’s not one of the UK’s official trails, but it’s a popular one. It follows footpaths in three National Parks: the Lakes, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors. Originally published in the 1970s, it was created by writer Alfred Wainwright. 

Cotswold Way

What to do with all that gear? Hiking The Cotswold Way will keep you from steep peaks and keep you from missing out on picturesque stops. The route features a number of historic sites and rolling valleys before connecting with Chipping Campden, a bougie town in Wiltshire. The route can be done in 11 days, but it’s a great one for a slow stroll in the afternoon if that’s more your thing.

Pennine Way

There is only one wild and remote path that connects northern England with the Scottish borders – the Pennine Way. Though it might not be easy on your calves, your eyeballs will certainly appreciate the hilly route. It offers breathtaking vistas along the way, crossing the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, and Hadrian’s Wall.

The Ridgeway

British travellers and traders have used this trail over high ground, known as Britain’s ‘oldest road’, since prehistoric times. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful walk, offering panoramic views of the North Wessex Downs and Chiltern Hills. In Goring, you can kick off your shoes at Avebury’s Neolithic stone circle and relax a few days later beside the Thames.

3 Best European Destinations for Mountain Lovers

If you’ve ever been to Europe you know that if there is something that it doesn’t lack it’s the mountains. The entire continent is filled with beautiful mountain ranges. And for every mountain lover, Europe is the place to be if you want to enjoy different outdoor activities. 

These amazing mountain sites will fascinate even those who prefer indoor activities. Additionally, they offer plenty of different activities that include more than just climbing.  So, here are the best European destinations for mountain lovers that need to end up on your travel list.

Switzerland 

No matter if you live in Europe or anywhere else in the world, the first country that pops into one’s mind when thinking about breathtaking mountains is Switzerland. The main reason why this is so is because of Switzerland’s position in Europe. This country is surrounded by the amazing Alps, and it has the biggest glaciers and some of the greatest peaks in Europe that go up to 4000 meters in height. Moreover, Switzerland is the country with the most picturesque villages and fascinating lakes. 

The best site for every mountain fan is Brienzer Rothorn Railway. All visitors can hop on the steam locomotive and go to the summit station at 2244 meters of height. Moreover, the train will pass through interesting tunnels and stunning loops. So, this activity is only reserved for those who are not afraid of heights. And if you miss hiking, there is no need to worry. There is a hiking trail that you can use which stretches between stations.

Austria

If you liked Switzerland, then you will surely love Austria. This is the land of fantastic beer, amazing food, picturesque villages, and of course, gorgeous mountains. Many tourists visit Austria simply because of the fairytale-like scenery. However, they decide to return due to the amazing experience that awaits every visitor.

The most popular destinations include Tyrol and Hallstatt. If you opt for Tyrol you will be able to do some hiking, cycling, and even rock climbing. This is a very popular touristic destination with plenty of scenic nature and outdoor activities. Moreover, the entire area is surrounded by amazing lakes like Lake Caldaro and Lake Braies. And when it comes to Hallstatt, you can visit this place for a real-life fairytale experience. The charming village situated next to Hallstatter lake is ideal for long, peaceful walks. Also, if you are a history fan, then this place will thrill you with the oldest salt mine in the region. Additionally, you can engage in snowboarding or skiing if you decide to visit in the winter. 

Italy

If by any chance you are more interested in places that are ideal for summer mountain climbing, then Italy is just what you need. A part of the Alp mountain range is also located in Italy, and it stands as one of the most popular hiking locations among local mountain fans. Furthermore, this area of Italy is filled with cute villages, amazing views, and interesting traditions. You can start the day by hiking on any of the amazing trails and taking photographs. And afterwards, you can look forward to incredible meals in an equally incredible environment. What sets the Italian mountain area apart from all others is the peace and quiet that you will get to enjoy if you choose to visit this country. 

Furthermore, mountain fans who are looking for the usual outdoor excitement will discover that the Italian part of the Alps, or the Dolomites,  is ideal for climbers, base jumpers, and skiers. With its numerous peaks, you will have plenty of different options for your summer mountain adventure. 

Top 10 Benefits of Spending Time in Nature

Enjoying the fresh air, the sunlight on one’s skin and bare feet in the sand can bring us so many small pleasures, invigorating us and restoring our energy. There are lots of benefits to spending time outdoors, some of which you might find surprising. Whether you’re relaxing in your backyard garden with a refreshing iced tea or going on an exciting white water rafting trip, being outside has lots of benefits.

It Affects Mood Positively

There is a range of outdoor activities suited to all fitness levels and preferences. Whether it’s going swimming in the sea, walking the dog, or mountain biking, finding outdoor activities that you enjoy boosts your mood and makes you feel better. Time in nature also helps you to relax and think clearly.

Relieves Stress

Stress can be reduced by disconnecting from screens and spending some time outdoors. The simple act of going outside for five minutes each day can have a calming effect on our brains. A walk, hike, or other outdoor activity will get your blood flowing. It is yet another way to reduce stress.

It Improves Short Term Memory

How could you have ever thought that spending a little time in nature would improve your memory? Researchers from the University of Michigan found that students who went on regular nature walks retained information much better. So, if you want to boost your short term memory, go hiking or stroll in the nearest park.

Defends Against Inflammation

The body can become inflamed for a variety of reasons, such as depression, cancer, or autoimmune diseases. Research has demonstrated that walking in the woods a little each week reduced inflammation in the body. Thus, if you want to help your body fight the inflammations, spend a little more time in nature.

Boosts Vitamin D

Certainly, too much sun can damage the skin and contribute to the creation of cancer cells. According to studies, being exposed to sunshine for between 15 and 20 minutes a day will allow the body to absorb vitamin D, which strengthens bones and reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

Improves Sleep Quality

Our bodies can better regulate sleep patterns when we spend time in natural light. After the sun sets, our brains release the appropriate amount of melatonin to enable us to sleep well. Researchers have discovered that a week spent camping in winter resets the body’s “clock” to be in harmony with nature’s light and dark cycles.

Boosts the Immune System

Outdoor activities and exposure to sunlight can boost the immune system, according to research. Stay healthy by taking a short walk outside or enjoying a bit of time outdoors. Maintaining a moderate to brisk activity level for at least 30 minutes can help your immune system fight viruses and bacteria.

It Is Good for Your Vision

Eyesight can be damaged by staring at screens for long periods of time. We benefit from taking a break from staring at computers, televisions, or smartphones when we are outside. A study by Australian scientists even found that children who spend time outdoors are less likely to develop myopia in old age.

Creativity is Encouraged

A rainbow of colours can be seen in nature, from orange sunsets to seafoam green waters and rose-coloured gardens. Spending time outdoors offers the opportunity to be inspired by the amazing sights, sounds, and smells of nature.

Increases Spiritual Awareness

Walking in a park on your own provides an opportunity to clear your mind and can even be regarded as a form of meditation. When we spend time in nature, we are able to breathe in the fresh air, listen, feel, and live in the moment. Often, nature reveals meaningful metaphors that can assist us in connecting with our spirituality.

Best British Athletes of All Time

Which UK athlete is the greatest of all time? The GOAT of the world of sport in the UK? To put it mildly, that’s a complicated question. Men’s and women’s athletes, as well as competitions from the Olympic and individual realms, are considered, across all the different eras, looking at not only the greatest of each sport but the greatest of all. So, even if many may disagree, here’s the list of the best British athletes of all time.

Sir Chris Hoy

Olympic cyclist Old Jumbo Thighs Hoy is the most decorated Olympian of all time with seven Olympic medals, six golds and one silver. For the first time in 100 years, a Brit won three gold medals in a single Olympics. He has won 11 World Championship titles as well. In addition to having been inspired to begin cycling by the film ET, he’s an entirely decent guy as well, which is worth more than points.

Robbie Dale, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lennox Lewis

Lewis boxed for Canada at the Olympics, but he was a proud Brit by the time he did what he did best. He was also the world’s undisputed heavyweight champion at one time, which is rare these days. After defeating Evander Holyfield in 1999, he became WBC Heavyweight champion in 1993. As a result of his victories over Mike Tyson in 2002 and Vitali Klitschko a year later, he showed that he could beat the best in the business.

Jonny Wilkinson

In the 2003 World Cup final, he scored a famous drop goal to end years of underachievement in rugby. In arguably helping pave the way for England’s success, he helped prove that England could win under the greatest pressure on the biggest stage. England reached the 2007 final as Wilko’s cool head kept Australia and France from scoring. The local Toulon fans fell in love with him during his final season with the club, just like the Twickenham crowd did years earlier.

Fanny Schertzer, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Andy Murray

Prior to Tim Henman, British tennis was laughed at all over the globe. Yet, the man from Dunblane caught up to him in 2012, winning the US Open and Wimbledon in the same year. The Scot won the Grand Slam for the first time since Fred Perry in 1930, and he won it at the same time as such greats as Federer and Nadal. Andy’s star will shine even brighter if he manages to help Britain win the Davis Cup and so far no one player has won the tournament virtually all by themselves.

Nick Faldo

While Rory McIlroy is well on his way to becoming a legendary player, he hasn’t yet equaled the achievement of golf’s “Mr Single-minded”. Three of Faldo’s major championships in America were Open Championships and three Masters. A peak of his power saw him ranked number one in the world for 98 weeks. A member of 11 Ryder Cup teams, Faldo is also known for helping to end America’s dominance in the sport.

User:SeamusSweeney, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton showed that he has talent when he joined Formula 1 in 2007. It was one of the greatest rookie seasons in F1 history. In the past few years he has been breaking record by record. In 2020. he won his seventh F1 Title – the record that belonged to legendary Michael Schumacher. Last year, he almost broke even that one! Just a couple of laps before the end of the last race of the 2021 F1 season everyone thought that the eighth Title was in his hands. To his misfortune, some unexpected things happened and turned things in Max Verstappen’s favour. Still, Hamilton’s career is one of the most successful ever, and it’s not over yet.

4 Best Books on Mushroom Foraging

Mushrooms are not too demanding when it comes to growing conditions, and there are thousands of different mushroom species out there. Meaning, it’s not too difficult to find mushrooms in the wilderness, but it’s difficult to know which mushrooms are edible. Knowing this information can come in handy in multiple scenarios. Who knows, maybe you will find yourself in the wilderness foraging for food, or you might want to know what some delicious mushrooms look like in order to prepare a better meal. So, let’s see some of the best books that you can use to gather edible mushrooms. 

Mushrooms: A Comprehensive Guide to Mushroom Identification

This is a guide written by Roger Phillips and it basically serves as an encyclopedia for fungi identification. The images that are featured in this book are amazing and you will learn a lot simply by looking at them. It’s not a book for beginners though, as it seems to be aimed at intermediate or advanced mushroom foragers. The style is academic and there is a lot of technical data included. 

Edible Mushrooms: A Forager’s Guide to the Wild Fungi of Britain and Europe

This guide is a better fit for someone who is looking to become a mushroom forager. It is written by Geoff Dann and it is a big book with over 500 pages, filled with useful information on different fungi. You will learn how to identify them based on appearance, smell, taste, and the places they grow. You will also learn about the type of equipment that you will need to get started, but as the title suggests it only covers specifics that can be found in Europe. 

Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools

This is a pocket guide, so it will be more convenient for you to carry it around. It is written by Paul Sterry and Barry Hughes, and it focuses on fungi you can find in Ireland and the UK. It’s a perfect fit for both intermediary mycologists and casual or amateur mushroom lovers. So, if you are looking for a neat and useful field guide you cannot go wrong with this one, so long as you are in the UK.  

Complete Mushroom Book, The Quiet Hunt

An ideal pick for those who are foraging because they love to cook. This guide is written by Antonio Carluccio and the first part of the book contains illustrations and explanations on how to identify mushrooms in the field. The second part of the book contains recipes or cookery ideas that can inspire you to create lots of different meals, using the mushrooms that you can find. You can see just how passionate the author is when it comes to mushrooms, and you will likely be inspired to become a forager yourself. 

These were some of our top suggestions for books on mushroom foraging. Hopefully, you found these descriptions useful, and we helped you decide which book to get. 

Online Gyms: Are They Here To Stay?

For years, people have sought different ways to stay active and add some physical activity to their daily schedule. And for decades one of the easiest and most popular ways to do that was by going to the gym. Nowadays, almost every city had dozens of gyms, that target different types of people. Some gyms will offer workouts that can help you build muscle, others will help you lose weight. And there are those that can do both. However, with the new age of the Internet, gym-goers were given another option that made working out way more accessible. Of course, we are talking about online gyms. 

Unlike regular gyms, the new online version turned out to be very time-saving and accessible for millions of people around the world, especially during the time when so many of us were home-bound. However, this has raised the question, if online gyms are just a current trend or are they here to stay? 

They Are Time-Saving

One of the reasons that we can think that online gyms will continue existing for years to come, is because people don’t have to waste time travelling back and forth whenever they want to work out. All they need is their PC or mobile phone to access online classes and start exercising. Moreover, right after they are done, they don’t need to change clothes so that they could get home. Therefore, plenty of time can be saved if you choose an online gym which can be crucial for some people when deciding on a new physical activity.

Ideal For People Who Want To Work Out In Peace And Quiet

Some people take the time that they spend at the gym very seriously. But gyms can be loaded with many people who constantly buzz around, take mirror-selfies, or take too long to finish their turn with a piece of gym equipment that you need. However, these types of problems can’t be experienced if you are working out from the comfort of your home. You are the one who is in control of everything that happens within your home and there will be no one to bother you during your workout session.

They Can Require At-Home Equipment 

On the other hand, there are some bad sides to online gyms. Even though almost anyone can get a laptop or a smartphone to access the online gym class, not all gym enthusiasts can have all the gym equipment that they need at home.

Some people can find that getting all the necessary gym equipment isn’t very budget-friendly. Others will experience a lack of space. In any case, this can present an issue for the future of online gyms. 

Of course, there are some online gyms that offer workout sessions that require very little equipment. But, serious gym-goers will need this equipment so they can achieve their fitness goals. 

Additionally, many people think that online gyms are yet to take their true form. It seems that in the future we might even witness the birth of VR gyms. But, it’s yet to be seen how the gym industry will solve the issue of the needed at-home equipment. In any case, they will need to find a new solution to keep the future gym goes interested in the concept of online gyms. 

4 Best Suitcases for Seasoned Travelers

When you’re often travelling, one of the most important things to think about is the suitcase. Picking the suitable materials and weight of your luggage can greatly impact your travelling experiences. The goal is to choose a compact and light suitcase, but at the same time has enough space for all your necessities.

Lightweight luggage pieces usually vary from 4 to 10 pounds. The lighter, the better. One of the things that affect luggage’s durability is the suitcase fabric. Polyester is a durable material, but make sure to opt for a suitcase with an aluminium frame. That combination offers great endurance while being light.

AmazonBasics

The giant company has ventured into the production of a broad range of merchandise. The company meticulously picks niches where it knows it can deliver excellent results. One of them is the suitcase lineup that’s very affordable, light and practical. Aside from suitcases and bags, you’ll find bags and numerous other travel accessories available. Their sturdy suitcases are rollable and easy to handle. You can use them on your travel adventures and count on their reliability no matter where you are.

Away

Away prides its innovation in every suitcase they make. The company invests heavily in unique designs, superior materials, and modern products. You’ll find many of the suitcases equipped with their rechargeable batteries ready to charge your devices on the go. That’s a convenient feature that many passionate travellers will appreciate.

Away’s suitcases are incredibly durable and affordable. That makes them a great companion for anyone on the go.

Eagle Creek

Are you looking for a brand that can provide you with any kind of luggage you could need? Eagle Creek has it all. The brand focuses on true adventurers who like to set out on hiking and trekking journeys. Their suitcases, backpacks and other luggage types are highly durable and perfect for all weather conditions.

If you’re planning a hike at your destination, consider picking this brand.

Hartmann

Hartmann is a distinctive suitcase maker which uses durable materials in its products. The American retro style is very appealing, but the most important part is the level of durability of the Hartmann brand. It’s no wonder their products come with a 10-year warranty.

After being in business for over 140 years, the brand has perfected the art of making high-quality suitcases. If you deeply care about style when you’re travelling, you should consider using Hartmann. You’ll find plenty of suitcases with premium materials.

Biggest Sports Events of 2022

Every year brings along a fresh batch of new sports competitions that people all over the world get to enjoy. However, some years are more exciting than the others, especially when multiple big tournaments line up. The year 2022 is definitely going to be incredible for all of the sports fans out there, as it will have several big events. So, let’s see what are some of the most important competitions that are going to take place in the year 2022. 

Australia Open

Starting in mid-January, the Australian Open will grab the attention of all Tennis fans out there. It’s not the most important tennis competition, but it’s still very popular, and all of the best players from across the globe will be competing here. 

Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is the biggest NFL event in the US, and even if you are not a fan of American football you will definitely enjoy the opening ceremony. Organizers know how to put up a real show, and they bring some of the stars from the music industry to play for all of the spectators. Moreover, we tend to get some incredibly creative commercials during this event, so there are a lot of things to look forward to. It will start on February 13, and NFL enthusiasts will have the time of their life watching these matches. 

Grand National

A spectacular event that takes place during the spring. Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in Great Britain, and the Grand National is almost like a festival. People will have a fun time watching the races, drinking, betting, and trying to spot as many celebrities as they can. Of course, eccentric hats will be there as well, as per tradition.  

NBA Finals

Basketball is played all over the world, but there is no bigger competition than the NBA. This is where the best of the best go against each other, and each game is a true spectacle. Everyone is eagerly expecting to see who will take the trophy home, and also see what new NFTs will be created over the course of each match. NBA Finals will commence in June 2022. 

Wimbledon

As mentioned, the Australian Open isn’t the biggest tennis competition, but Wimbledon definitely is. Tennis players really give their best to take the Wimbledon trophy home, and to leave a lasting impression on all of the spectators there.

Novak Djokovic is currently the reigning champion, and he has won the past 3 Wimbledon events, so we will see if he will come on top this time as well. In the year 2022, the Wimbledon competition will start on June 27.  

FIFA World Cup

Finally, we have the biggest sports event in the world and that is the FIFA World Cup that will be held in Qatar in November. Soccer is the most popular sport in the whole world, so it’s natural that events like the FIFA World Cup receive so much attention. Due to the high temperatures in Qatar, the event was pushed so far back, so soccer fans will have to wait for almost a whole year before they get to enjoy their matches. 

Conclusion 

These were the most notable events that fans are looking forward to in the upcoming year. There are lots of other competitions that will take place, like the US Open, Tour de France, Winter Olympics,  World Aquatics Championships, and Stanley Cup finals. 

5 Apps You Need in a Foreign Country

Millions of people pack their cases in search of the thrill of visiting another country. It’s a fun activity that makes people happy. They get to explore different cultures, learn new traditions and create memorable moments that’ll always stay with them.

The only challenge with travelling to a foreign country is the language barrier. Even though you can find people who understand the language you speak perfectly, it’s a rare commodity. It is, however, possible to rely on technology and bridge the majority of those gaps. Here are a couple of useful apps that’ll make your travelling experience even better.

Google Maps

As you might have already guessed, Google Maps is your best pick for a map app. It is rich with data about the local landmarks, but more importantly, it’s consistently getting updates about street changes. That’s extremely important, as you can rest assured that the map you’re following is 99.99% correct.

The feature you’ll appreciate the most is the ability to select a part of the map you’d like to download to your phone. Then, you won’t need any internet as all the data will already be on your phone. Simply pick an area you would like to download the map for and get it ready before beginning your journey.

Goole Translate

Google Maps will help you navigate more quickly, but there’s more. Google Translate will help you easily communicate with the locals. All you have to do is enter what you want to say, and the app will translate it and pronounce it in the other language. If the pronunciation is not available, the locals can still read what you’re saying.

You can ask for directions, order food or even start a conversation knowing that they’ll understand you. Make sure to download the translations for the language of your choice so that you can use the app offline.

Flyright

Use Flyright to get the essential details about your destination before you get on the plane. For example, suppose you’re planning to travel to Beijing. In that case, all you have to enter is the city name, and the app will immediately display visa requirements, any vaccinations requirements, and the currency exchange rates. You can download the results so you can access all the data offline. It’s a helpful app that helps you prepare better for the next visit to the country of your dreams.

Coincalc

Coincalc will prevent you from overpaying for goods and services in a foreign country. It converts your funds to another currency. That way, you always know that you’re paying the right price for something. Coincalc is an excellent choice, as it supports a vast number of currencies. There’s also the support for cryptocurrencies, but it’s only available for premium users.

Rome2rio

Are you looking for the quickest and cheapest way to get to a destination? Rome2rio will help you pick the best option. It’s a handy app that’ll help you choose the best route for your next trip. It offers buses, trains, ferries and any other means of transportation available.