Do you often feel sluggish even if you just woke up in the morning? Do you feel stuffed and heavy during the day? Your lifestyle directly affects your mood. If you have a toxic and stressful lifestyle, you may feel down, irritable, and lazy. Physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve your stress and feel rejuvenated.

If you are not into extreme sports, you can try hiking. It is a physical activity that does not require you to have previous training. Whether you are a beginner or an enthusiast, hiking can help change your lifestyle and improve your overall health.

Benefits of Hiking

Some people think of hiking as just another dull form of exercise. However, it is more than that. If you experience this type of physical activity, you can see the different ways it can improve your physical and mental well-being. Hiking can help you physically and mentally:

  • Hiking is great for the mind. A quiet hike can do wonders for the brain. Unlike the pressure that you feel when you are in the gym, hiking allows you to enjoy the environment around you. When you are at the gym, you might feel judged or embarrassed. However, you can feel at ease and relaxed when you hike.
  • Hiking helps tone the body. Hiking is a great way to jumpstart your exercise regimen. It can aid in toning the body. As you hike, you are using your leg muscles and body to tread the different paths you take. Taking regular hikes can make your muscles stronger and your body leaner.
  • Hiking improves your mood. If you feel stressed for personal or work-related reasons, you can take a step back and just put on your hiking gear. With hiking, you can literally walk away from the stressors in your life and just enjoy walking along the trail. Hiking is a great way to spend time alone and just let everything go. Through this activity, you are putting your mind at ease.
  • Hiking can help with your weight problems. When you hike, you are exerting effort and burning energy. It is a physical activity that can count as a form of exercise because you are burning calories as you hike. Hiking for an hour burns 500 calories. Therefore, it can aid in weight loss as long as you do it regularly.
  • Hiking can help in eliminating other health issues. Aside from toning the body and helping you lose weight, hiking can also assist in minimizing and even eliminating your risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and depression.

Ways to Enjoy Hiking

If you are not enjoying your hike, then you are not doing it right. It should be an exhilarating feeling, especially when you reach the end of your trail. There are many ways to enjoy a hike. Some of them are:

  • Bring a friend (with a map). One of the possible reasons why most people do not enjoy hiking is because they get lost, or they get lonely. To avoid these incidents, you can let a friend tag along with you. Hiking can be fun when you are doing it with a buddy. Of course, you should never forget to bring a map, especially when it is your first time to hike on a new trail.
  • Wear the right outfit. Another reason why you cannot enjoy the beauty of a hiking trip is you lack or you do not have any appropriate hiking outfit. Since hiking involves a lot of walking, it is best to invest in the right footwear. Gore Tex is a breathable fabric membrane that has waterproof properties. This type of technology repels water but allows vapor to go through the footwear. With this type of hiking footwear, your feet are comfy and dry during the entire trek.
  • Pack the right gear. In hiking, you also need to bring the essentials with you. The items you should pack will depend on whether you will stay at the destination site overnight or you will just hike for a few hours. These are the basic hiking items that you need to bring during your first hike:
  • Navigation:
    • Compass
    • GPS
    • Map
  • Protection and Medical Supplies:
    • Lip balm
    • First-aid kit
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
  • Food and Hydration:
    • Energy bars
    • Water

Hiking is all about the total experience. If you do not try it at least once, you are missing out on the thrill and excitement of treading nature’s path. Hiking not only helps in keeping you fit physically, but it also provide a means to escape your daily routine.  

Ray Jennings is a former steel mill worker who currently writes about work safety and waterproof technology at Comfort Work Boots. He also shares his passion about hiking that can be useful to his readers.