Soaring Seniors

Hike for Health



to Your Health &


2020 was a hard year for many seniors. The pandemic wreaked havoc and created tragedy in so many lives.

I am Rita Losee, ScD, RN who wrote Soaring Seniors: Stories, Steps and Strategies for Living Full-Out after Fifty, Sixty, Seventy... In August, 2020, I hiked 275.63 miles between the first and the twenty-seventh.  I hiked to inspire others, especially seniors, to become more active and improve their health and fitness.

As 2020 ends, I am once again challenging myself; My plan is to hike an average of five miles/day between Jan. 1 and March 21, 2021 as a demonstration that there are steps we can take, regardless of age or physical condition to improve our health.

As I write this, the US is focused on vaccines as the means to end the pandemic. They may well stop the spread of Covid-19, but vaccines will not improve our health.

All of my personal and professional experiences have prepared me for this. Please join me!


My dictionary defines “hike” as “To go on an extended walk, particularly for pleasure.” The hikes we are discussing here are definitely intended to be pleasurable, but there is a much more important reason for hiking in the winter of 2020-2021: It could be life-saving.

We’ve known for decades that exercise is good for our health. More recently, there have been multiple studies showing that being outdoors is of vital importance to our health.


Vaccines are now being distributed in a heroic effort to stop the spread of COVID-19; hopefully, they will succeed. Unfortunately, it now appears that it will be some months before the vaccination of seniors is complete.

There are actions we can take right now to improve our immune functioning and thus increase the odds that, if we do contract the virus, we get the mild version of the disease, rather than the version that is now pushing the health care system beyond capacity.

One of the best activities you can do for your health is simply walking outside. If there is a reason one cannot walk outside, walking inside is still beneficial. Physical activity is absolutely crucial for improving health and there has never been a moment in our history when gaining, regaining, or sustaining one's health has been more critically important.