There are tons of healthy benefits to hiking ─ both physically and mentally. All it takes is getting out there and doing it! What is a hike exactly? Well, according to Google, a hike is a long walk ─ especially in the wilderness or country. Does that mean that you have to make it an all day, super long hike? No… What’s great about a hike is that it’s your hike to take! Hence, a hike to you or me basically means taking a nice walk in nature ─ however you see fit in doing it!
The important thing is that you actually get out and do it! Here are 12 reasons why you should get out and go hiking today!
1. Hiking is as short or as long as you want it to be!
That’s right! Remember that it is your hike to take! Don’t let another person’s idea of a hike turn you off! You can make your hike as easy or as hard as you want it to be. What is great about this is that maybe you don’t have too much time, or that your are tired today but still want to get out. Maybe you do want to make a day of it. There are so many trails out there, some long, some short, some easy and some hard… there is not a reason that you can’t find the perfect trail each time you go out!
2. Hiking is as easy or as hard as you want it to be!
Say you want a long hike, but an easy one! Okay, go do it! Say, you want a short hike, but you want it to be a cliff-hanger. Again, go do it! I know that some days I want to spend some time walking outdoors, but I don’t feel like climbing a mountain. Other days, I’m up for the challenge. It’s okay to make your hike exactly as you want it to be, just for that day!
3. Hiking is a great source of cardio exercise!
As long as you are spending at least some of the time walking at a brisk enough pace to raise your heartbeat, this is considered a cardio exercise. Lots of times this will happen without you even being aware of it. This is what is nice about hiking… you are out enjoying nature, and getting exercise at the same time!
4. Hiking is an excellent stress reliever!
Spending time in nature is an excellent stress reliever as is any physical activity! It is truly important to have a connection to nature ─ to heal your mind and body! Finding yourself stuck inside too much is awful for your health! Hiking is a win-win activity. It gets you outdoors and into nature, and it is a great source of physical activity!
5. Hiking helps you to sleep better!
Hiking releases pent up energy that builds up throughout the day. Especially on days when we are stuck at work or in front of the computer! It is super important to release the energy and stress that builds up during the day. Even if you can’t go for a full-fledged hike, get out and walk! You will feel so much better afterward, and you will sleep better at night!
6. Take awesome pics and selfies!
Where else can you get such awesome backdrops? People will want to know where you were when you took that great selfie! Hiking often takes you to places that you just cannot get to otherwise. Photographers know all about this!
7. Boost your creativity and your imagination!
The beauty of nature is inspiring. All the sights, sounds and scents fill you up and allow you to focus on your creativity! If you ever find yourself unable to think clearly, it’s time to get outdoors! Take a journal with you so that you can write down all your inspirations while spending time in nature! Even if you are not the creative type, it is still a great way to learn about yourself!
8. Hiking is a good family activity!
Do you have children? No problem! There are plenty of hikes that are children friendly! Spending time outdoors is just as beneficial for your kids as it is for you!
9. Hiking is the perfect solo activity!
Do you need some alone time? Yes, we all need our alone time sometimes! Hiking is a perfect way to find this time in a peaceful setting. It allows you to reflect upon yourself, relieve daily stresses and anxieties, and to feel better! An escape to nature should be on everyone’s list of things to do!
10. Hiking is educational!
There are lots of hiking trails in areas with rich history and so forth. A lot of parks have put up educational signs for you to learn while you hike. Sometimes these signs are about the history of the area, or sometimes they are about the nature found in the area. You might be surprised at what you can learn while out on a hike!
11. Hiking does not judge!
Hiking doesn’t know how much you weigh, or what you look like. If you are an anti-social person- say someone who wants to get out and exercise, but doesn’t like the crowd at the gym- well, hiking is perfect for you! It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do in life, where you work or what you ate for breakfast ─ hiking is for everyone and does not judge!
12. Hiking is free!
Most of the time hiking is free! Some places might charge some fees, especially if you are doing the overnight, camping kind of hiking. But, for most day hikes, it is entirely free! It beats paying a gym membership fee; that’s for sure! It’s ideal for those on a budget, or do have large families where other activities can break the bank!
Now, after reading these 12 incredible reasons for getting out and going on a hike, I know that you can’t wait to go! To learn of hiking trails near you, visit Trails.com. There is a trail for everyone!
Robin, and the ZEN Team!
*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Photo Sources– Pixabay.com