The reason why people like hiking is both short and long. Usually, people opt for hiking because they are looking for a healthy sport that allows them to be in contact with nature. Hiking is usually suitable for any type of person as it is up to them – how far, how fast and how much they want to hike. The chaotic pace of our lives is filled with work, jobs in and around concrete jungles, which we live in as time passes by. Hiking may seem like a purely physical matter, but even mentality plays a major role in it.
Spending time outdoors can bring you more advantages than you think. Even though it is obviously healthy for our bodies, few stop to think that it could also be beneficial to our mental health. More and more people are becoming aware of the hiking benefits and becoming fans of these activities. While hiking, along with walking, we enjoy unique landscapes and are in contact with nature. Hiking is easily considered one of the top five popular outdoor activities where millions of people go for hikes every year.
11 Reasons Why People Like Hiking?
Below are the top 11 reasons why people love hiking:
1) General Physical Benefits
The benefits of physical activities are something everyone is aware of. Doing sports is always great because it burns fats, shapes your body, and benefits your cardiovascular system. Even walking, in general, is good, and since hiking is basically walking (for some it’s much better than a walk) it provides a significant advantage. Plus the more slope or the more inclined the land is, the more calories you burn.
Hiking is a great type of exercise since you can do it at different levels of intensity. Even going on a leisure, slow pace hike for half an hour has positive effects on your body. Moreover, if you are interested in a hobby that allows both exploration and weight loss, hiking can be a good option for you. There is no doubt that a lot of people like hiking because it improves overall fitness and burns excessive calories. In addition, the more demanding the hike is the higher the number of calories burnt. Additionally, this activity can improve balance skills, develop stronger bones to fight against arthritis and osteoporosis, lower blood sugar, reduce the risk of diabetes, and much more.
2) Be One With The Nature
Nature lovers undoubtedly love or would love hiking as it can be a simple, yet perfect activity for them. You are surrounded by nature full of waterfalls, rivers, lakes, hills, and mountains. The greenery can help you forget everything else and just live in the moment surrounded by the earth’s natural beauty, birds, animals, and fresh air.
Being outdoors and away from the stresses of modern lives can do wonders for your mental state. Even walking around outside for a short amount of time every day will be noticeable after a week or so. It is a well-known fact that quality time with natural scenery can help improve both physical and mental conditions. Whether you are trekking through mud, snow, mountains, hills, meadows, forests, nature has a lot to offer to everyone.
Generally, mother nature is calming, authentic, beautiful – helping you to become a better person. The magnificent sceneries, vast wilderness, dramatic views, and fresh, clean air are very different from what we experience from the concrete jungle every day. You can go out for a day hike, or multi-day weekend hikes, or go all out with a week or more planned trip thousands of miles away from your town.
3) Discover Something New
One of the best things about hiking is that each route, each path leads to the discovery of wonderful places. While walking, you could end up stumbling on some untouched beauty of nature or landscape that not many or anyone would know about. Even repeating the same route that many people visit, you could notice things that you previously didn’t see or explore.
Sometimes it could feel like there are numerous places for hiking even in your city or town. Nevertheless, there are famous hiking spots where you can go see something with your own eyes instead of looking through photos and videos.
4) A Totally Non-Competitive Activity
Usually, sports imply competition and doing your best to win. Although it may be true for a lot of sports activities, hiking is one of the few activities that is totally non-competitive in every way. There is no competition, no race, no winning, nothing insane involved in hiking. It is mostly focused on the opposite – primacy of fellowship and camaraderie. People who are unfit or in lesser shape than others make small efforts to catch up to others and not be left behind. But, hiking is something that you can set your own pace, especially during solo travels. Sometimes it is difficult to find suitable activities that are both healthy and non-competitive. The great thing about hiking is it’s a perfect blend for a great workout while spending a good time with others.
5) Meet New People And Improve Bonds
Build new bonds or strengthen your current relationships – hiking can help you do both. For extroverted people, getting familiar with new people is a simple task. No doubt there have been numerous occasions where they met new people. Hiking is something similar where you can meet people with common interests like love towards mother nature. Hiking with family, friends, and relatives can also help you improve your relationships and even advance them to the next level. Hiking can be just about spending time with people you are close to or spending it with a large group.
6) A Cheap Outdoor Hobby
Putting aside the cost of hiking gear, hiking itself is a cheap outdoor physical activity. If you choose the right conditions to go hiking, the essentials won’t cost you much and you can gain entry almost anywhere for free. Hiking is the closest you can get to an inexpensive hobby as all you really need is a good pair of shoes or boots and a nice place to start walking. Obviously, there are some other specialized gears that can make the journey a little more enjoyable. Nonetheless, for beginners, all of the equipment is not needed right from the start.
7) Psychological Benefits
Walking through nature’s beauty and breathing in clean air can help us relax and push the stress of the city away. Hiking is one of the activities that can help you forget about everything else as your focus is on the trail in front of you. It is highly recommended by medical professionals for people suffering from regular stress, anxiety, and/or depression. When you feel overwhelmed, do not hesitate and just grab your gear and head out to the nearest trails for a good hike. You can even pack up for a weekend or week-long journey and enjoy camping along with trekking.
Our lives have always been bust and they keep getting busier than ever. Whether you are a working professional with 9 to 5 jobs or a student completing a full-time or part-time course, hiking is for everyone to reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels.
Concurrently, it produces a calming effect that only mother nature can offer us in place of just typical exercise. Psychologists call the negative thought patterns, which are decreased by getting out into nature as ‘rumination.’ These play over and over in our heads making us dwell among embarrassing or disappointing moments. Along with that, it makes us think about everything that went wrong in the past.
You can never ever underestimate or oversell the happiness effect of being outdoors. Walking or climbing over unknown and uneven terrains uses more energy than walking over flat modern paths. You are also temporarily cutting your ties with all the new age stimuli we expose ourselves to throughout the day.
Research has shown that people regularly spend time in natural settings can improve their memory and recollection skills. Additionally, it is also associated with lowering stress levels, reducing anxiety, quietening the mind, and allowing you to enter the zone, which is a part of a meditative state.
8) Disconnecting Technology & Embracing Freedom
With advancing technology, more and more of our daily activities are integrated with modern tools. It undoubtedly has a lot of good points making our lives easier, but it does not mean that it has no bad points. We have achieved a huge technological advantage, however as useful as they are, they still are disadvantageous in some ways. These devices make us dependent and overwhelmed while constantly demanding attention. Moreover, they can be extremely addictive and really hard to get away from all those gadgets and enjoy the truly important things. Hiking can be one of the best ways to disconnect from technology and engage in an outdoor excursion. You can regain your sense of freedom, lost balance, find peace, and maybe even fall in love with the simplicity and the wilderness.
9) Going Towards the Unknown Uncertainty
Going into the unknown or walking towards uncertainty can seem like a disaster at first. But, it is actually one of the best and most enjoyable things about hiking. Many experienced hikers love this activity because every new trail is considered a new adventure. Hiking and backpacking combine boring straightforward walking exercises with fun. Hence, it makes hiking much more engaging than going to gyms or studios.
10) Go Geocaching
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity that has come a long way in the last couple of decades. It is a treasure-hunting game where the participants use their GPS receivers or smartphones to find geocaches – hide-and-seek containers. It is pretty simple and easy and can test how well you can do both hiking and geocaching together.
11) It’s a Challenge
Going trekking for miles can be a serious challenge and this is especially true in the case of hiking in and around the Grand Canyon. This is particularly important if you are a pure hiking enthusiast wading through cold streams, traversing rugged terrain, and climbing up steep hills. The outdoor environment is always unpredictable, we never know what can happen while we are walking around in the wilderness. Nonetheless, hiking can be an activity where you can push yourself to test your limits.
A great form of exciting exercise, which burns fats, improves cardiovascular health, increases sun exposure, and improves Vitamin D levels – hiking has many advantages and reasons why people like this hobby. It provides you a way to clear your mind, focus on the moment, experience solitude, take time to understand yourself better, and lets you explore the amazing natural world.
Along with that, hiking is known to decrease levels of stress aggravated by the fast-paced environment we live in and improves your state of mind and overall mood & state of well-being. There are much more reasons why people go hiking and it differs for each and every one of them.
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Hey, I am the founder of Outside Origin! I love hiking in my spare time and have gone to various different hikes. You can check out our about us section to learn more about what our team and I do over at Outside Origin.