Have you been thinking about adding hiking to your list of hobbies? Throwing on some boots, loading up your backpack, and hitting the trails might just be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
1. It’s an exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise.
If you dread working out more than anything in the world (guilty!), you need to make sure your time spent exercising is doing something you actually enjoy. When you go hiking, you’ll never get bored thanks to all the pretty scenery and endless amount of trail options and challenges. And as you’re making your way through the woods, you’ll completely forget you’re reaping the same health benefits as other not-so-enjoyable workouts, from improved muscular and cardiovascular fitness to an insane calorie burn of more than 500 calories/hour depending on your environment.
2. You’ll see some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Sure, famous man-made landmarks are cool and all, but the true beauty of the world is out in nature far, far away from the hustle and bustle of major cities. The sights you’ll see while hiking places like the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, and Redwood National Park are ones that will stay glued in your memory forever.
3. Your stress, anxiety, and depression will disappear.
Since hiking combines two major stress relievers and anxiety and depression reducers — the Great Outdoors and exercise — spending time on the trails is the perfect way to breathe in some fresh air and forget about all your problems. You’ll feel a sense of calm you didn’t even know existed. Never underestimate the power of a little sunshine and fresh air.
4. It’s a bonding experience.
Grabbing a friend, family member, or your significant other for a hike is a great way to bond on a completely new level. When it’s just you and nature, there’s no room for distractions and the door opens for meaningful conversations. On top of that, no one will be spending time glued to their phones. Score.
5. Hiking boosts your creativity.
Feeling like you’ve hit a wall at work or in your personal life? Maybe all you really need is a mental boost. Taking time away from technology and really connecting with yourself and nature will replace brain fog with a whole new level of creativity and imagination.
6. It’s free.
If that’s not a reason to hike, we don’t know what is. Even if you just stay close to home and hike around at a nearby park, there’s no cost for being an explorer.