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Why You Should Start Hiking

Updated on May 7, 2016

Raven Run Nature Sanctuary Hike

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People often ask me why I love hiking so much due to hiking weekly and posting pictures from my hikes. To many, hiking is a menial activity compared to something more “practical” like shopping. They often compare hiking with taking a walk in a neighborhood, but instead with the risk of bears, coyotes and killers from scary movies. However, this is not the case. To me, hiking means much more than walking outside on a trail in the middle of trees due to the benefits that it can bring us.

Stepping Outside Of Your Boundaries

With living in a big city for my entire life, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve easily adopted the typical city lifestyle. I love shopping more than anything, go to the movies two times a week, and I am obsessed with sitting inside with the air conditioning blowing on my skin on a hot summer day. It is safe to say that I am your typical city girl who had always hated getting dirty and being outside. I’ve always actually enjoyed outdoors activities for as long as I could remember, but it wasn’t until high school when I really started loving going outdoors and losing the prissy girly girl label that I’ve always had. I invited one of my close friends to attend an overnight camping trip with me and a bunch of our classmates that we didn’t personally know, with our Outdoors club in high school. It was the most beautiful experience ever. We ate s’mores, sang camping songs, and even made breakfast over the fire the next morning. This led us and more of our friends to do more things we weren’t used to doing like hiking, backpacking, and caving. Stepping outside of your boundaries is sometimes risky, but you can find something that you will love to do for the rest of your life by doing it.

Stress Relief

Participating in outdoors activities is naturally stress relieving due to working your body and being outside of our homes and workplace. Being in the middle of nowhere and being able to share the experience of realizing that there is more to life than driving cars, shopping, and sitting in your home while watching Netflix is such an amazing one. I usually go hiking once a week, but with being a busy college student, I’ve had less time to go as often as I did before. Whenever I am stressed, I know that I need a hiking trip just to get away and reset my mind. Trying something new can always be a potential stress reliever due to adding something different in your routine.

Burning Calories

I have had numerous hikes where I burn over 500 calories and have no idea until I check my iPhone when I am finished. Hiking is an awesome secret workout which can be a form of cardio and helps leg toning due to hills and the different ground levels. If you are looking for a different workout other than running on the treadmill, hiking would be perfect for you. Also, if you are wanting to start working out but are intimidated by the gym, you should start with hiking. It is definitely a workout that doesn’t seem like an actual workout, and it is also a good way to warm yourself up to begin working out and getting into a gym.

Finding a hobby that you truly enjoy doing that many may see as bizarre, can really be a helpful outlet from the stressful lives that we live. It is important to experience as much as you can during the short time we’re on earth and attempt to find your outlet without allowing your comfort zone to restrict you from doing so. Grab a friend and find a hiking trail near your city. I am almost positive that it will turn into a healthy new hobby that you will begin to love.

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