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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Geocaching for Fitness

  Geocaching is a great way for individuals of all ages and fitness levels to get exercise.  What is geocaching?  It is a scavenger hunt for the techno-savy and outdoorsman alike.  All you need is a little sense of adventure, access to the internet, and a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to guide you on your treasure hike.
     The objective of geocaching, in its basic form, is to find containers of trinkets or souvenirs (the "geocaches" or "caches") that someone else has hidden in precise locations outdoors.  In addition to trinkets, a typical cache contains a log book for geocachers to sign and record the date and time of their find.  Geocachers may take one of the trinkets and leave one of their own for future seekers.  The locations of the caches, recorded in coordinates of longitude and latitude, are posted on and obtained from the internet.  You enter the coordinates of the cache of interest into your GPS receiver.  The official geocaching website to access this, and other information about geocaching and purchasing a GPS, is  

How to Get Started:
1.  Go to the above website link to register for a free account.
2.  Enter your postal (zip) code or that of a destination you 
      wish to visit to locate a cache.
3.   Choose a geocache from the list.  Note that locations are 
      ranked on a scale from 1 to 5 based on the level of difficulty 
      required to access the cache.  A cache locale given the 
      rating of "1" is easy and may be reachable just off a
      well-marked footpath.  A cache with a difficulty rating of 
      "5" may require great endurance, strength, and skill such as 
      with rock climbing to find its whereabouts.
4.  Enter the coordinates of the cache into your GPS receiver 
      and make notes of the location's description or clues to the 
      whereabouts of the cache to take with you on your search.

What You Need for the Hike:
1.  Supportive shoes and appropriate clothes for the weather
2.  Food and water
3.  Maps of area and compass
4.  GPS device and extra batteries
5.  Cell phone
6.  First-aid kit
7.  Bug spray
8.  Suntan lotion
9.  Pencil to record in log book
10. Trinket to leave for future seekers (usually a "dollar 
       store" type item)
11.  Small trash bags to carry out trash found 
       on hike ("Cache In, Trash Out")

Safety Tips and Environmental Considerations:
1.  Choose a cache location that is appropriate for your 
      current physical condition and skill.
2.  Let a friend/family member know where you will 
      be going in case of an emergency.
3.  Check weather forecast to avoid getting caught
      in a storm.
4.  Follow the "Cache In, Trash Out" philosophy by
      picking up trash on your hike to maintain the 
     Since its beginning in the year 2000, geocaching has led people around the world into an adventure that combines physical activity with technology.  Spring is a wonderful time to set out on your geocaching expedition.  Not only is it a fun way to get your exercise, but it is a wonderful way to connect with family, friends, and the natural world. 

Note:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

The Geocaching Handbook by Layne Cameron published in 2004.

Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site 

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