Editor’s note: fitness is about exercise, getting and staying healthy, stimulating hormones that have anti aging and

The Scott Paul trail in Washington's North Cas...
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disease fighting effects, eating natural foods and communing with nature, adventure to fill the spirit and enthusiasm for life. It’s not just about taking vitamins and health supplements, but getting out and living life to the fullest. Here’s a great article that shows you how to do just that. Check it out, or find a place like it near you and get some exercise to increase your fitness for life!

Iowa has transformed more abandoned railroad beds into bike trails than any other state! With a variety of terrains–hilly, rocky, forests, prairies, and waterways–Iowa has exercise, fitness and adventure for every level of biker. Beginners will be happy to experience some of the longest paved trails anywhere in the country. You’ve just got to come and see for yourself!

For a great family ride, check out the Wabash Trail located near Council Bluffs. With 25 miles of trail, it’s a nice easy ride on predominantly flat terrain and it’s not only relaxing, but it is also a great way to tour the area. In addition to beautiful scenery and countryside, there are some small towns with interesting places to visit along this route.

Sometimes called the “Brickyard,” a 7-mile route of biking trail officially named the Sycamore Trail includes lots of challenging loops with the main trail running beside the Des Moines River. Because of the close proximity to the river, in the springtime some of the trail can be underwater, so don’t ride here when the weather is still wet. You’ll enjoy steep, rocky climbs and drops plus some great technical obstacles to navigate-including deer on their way to drink at the river.

Looking for hilly terrain with some really awesome downhill shots where you can pick up some speed? What about creek crossings? You’ll find that and a lot more at the Oleson Park Trail not far from Fort Dodge. This trail was designed by Joker Racing, so bikers are going to love it!

Iowa City is home to the Sugar Bottom Recreation Area. Here you’ll find a web of trails totalling nearly 12 miles with something for every biker of every skill level. These great, well-marked trails are mostly one-way, so watch for signs or look at a map. Then choose trails to match your skill level. Advanced riders who are fit and experienced will love the trails with technical challenges like roots and double backs. Keep your eyes open, though. You won’t be the only bikers here, as this area is pretty popular.

For intermediate to professional level bikers, the 14-mile trail on the Decorah Mountain Bike Trail System will get your heart racing! Home to the first MTB racing event to be held in Iowa, you’ll find lots of technical features to challenge even the most advanced riders. Roots and rocks, steep inclines and rapid descents, dirt track and lots of other types of terrains and surfaces-there is something here to challenge everyone-and this track definitely will challenge most riders!

Another trail perfect for the most adventurous of bikers is the Lewis and Clark Trail near Council Bluffs. It’s a good thing that there are some good bailout points along this 7-mile track because there’s a lot of technical stuff here and intermediate riders may not be up for all of them. Twists, turns, roller coaster hills, sharp inclines and drops, obstacles to navigate, and more keep this one interesting. And you’ll need to watch out for hikers on these trails, as well.