What are the benefits of hiking? 5 great reasons to get started!
There are lots of benefits, both physical and mental, that result from hiking. Whether you go alone, with friends, your family or in a group; during your lunchbreak, for the day or overnight; in the mountains, in the forest, in the countryside or on the coast; hiking clears your mind while strengthening your body. Hiking is both a leisure activity and a sport of discovery and contemplation… Here are a few good reasons to get some fresh air and explore the trails near you.
1. It’s easily accessible
Regardless of your age, weight or social status all you need to do to begin is put on a pair of hiking shoes (for WOMEN | for MEN) and start walking. There’s no need to take out a bank loan to buy loads of gear, nor do you need the same fitness level as Kilian Jornet. Of course, the degree of preparation and the equipment you take will vary depending on the difficulty of your route and how long you plan to be out. But with a minimal budget and a bit of motivation, the great outdoors and the benefits of walking can be yours. What are the #1 reasons to go hiking? It’s accessible, easy and affordable.
2. To discover and enjoy nature
The first blossoms of the season, birds singing, the scent of pine trees or a sky that bursts into flames as the sun goes down… Nature provides an incredible tapestry, all you have to do is open your eyes. Going on a hike will take you places that provide a front row seat for nature’s amazing performance and allow you to discover the many colors and nuances of its flora and fauna. This is reconnecting to what’s essential. Hiking can reveal new horizons that you never expected.
3. To disconnect and take time off
At a time when everything is moving fast, a hike allows you to escape the noise of the city and slow things down. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, right at your doorstep (and your frantic race against time) and enjoy every moment. Take this opportunity to escape from your daily grind and everything bad that goes with it. Consider it a digital detox where you can let your mind wander and take the time to listen, see, smell, touch… A physical activity that will allow you to set your creativity free.
4. To spend time with others
While some will prefer to hike alone, others will enjoy the opportunity it provides to share time with their friends and for the chance to meet new people. Hiking is a mellow, sporty activity that’s non-competitive and doesn’t involve a stopwatch. It brings people together and provides the opportunity to engage and have a conversation without struggling to catch your breath. On beautiful, warm days or in the magical white of winter, take advantage of a sunny hike to reconnect with people without screens or emoticons…
5. For your health
A healthy spirit in a healthy body! If hiking is a sport that has many benefits for our mental health, it has just as many benefits for our physical health. Going for a walk helps us get in shape gently, without impact or trauma. Walking on a regular basis at your own pace, without forcing anything, has numerous effects on your musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles) as well as your cardiovascular system.
Hiking stimulates and strengthens your musculoskeletal system in perfect balance; it works your muscles gently, while also exercising your joints.
As a physically gentle endurance sport, hiking, like most sports, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and strengthens our immune system. Getting out for regular physical activity like hiking decreases the risk of diabetes and hypertension.
Unlike other more intense sports that can be traumatizing to your body, the progressive aspect of hiking provides a complete, all-encompassing workout that strengthens both body and mind.
So for staying in shape, getting fresh air, making new connections or discovering new horizons, hiking is a great way to add a boost to your daily life. It is an activity that is both deep and serene, and an endeavor that is in harmony with our environment. The playing field for hiking is limitless so while taking advantage of it be sure to also respect it.