10 Benefits of Hiking Regularly | #52HikeChallenge2018

One of my New Years Resolutions for 2018 is to live a healthier lifestyle. Less eating fast food, more exercise, less negativity, more gratitude and journaling and a whole lot of feeling better about myself physically, mentally and spiritually. Because of this, Adam is joining me in the #52HikeChallenge2018 to help support my resolution. After a month, I've really seen a change in myself and I've begun to see the world in a whole different lens.

If you haven't heard of the 52 Hike Challenge, it is a global movement inspiring and encouraging others to "take a personal journey to discover the physical, mental and spiritual benefits gained through hiking once a week for an entire week". Click here to learn more and sign yourself up!

Today, I will be sharing with you 10 benefits of hiking on a regular basis!

Disclaimer: I am obviously not a health specialist or professional. All of the benefits I share today are based off of my personal experience. Your experience may differ from my own.

1. Hiking helps you get more fit.
It is undeniable that hiking is an outdoor sport that requires lots of endurance and physical exertion. Surprisingly enough, despite this fact, it feels like passive cardio. When I was going to the gym 4 days a week, I used to feel like crap doing all of the exercises and all I could think was "when can I leave?". On the other hand, when we are hiking, I want to stay out there forever. While out there, I'm continuously working my arm muscles, my leg muscles, my lungs, my heart. Just from hiking alone (regular hiking 3 times a week for the last two months), I have lost 15 lbs. I also feel more energetic and have found that hills I used to dread aren't as physically straining as they used to feel.

2. It's like a mini-vacation from every day life.
Hiking is a great activity to help you get away from life for a couple of hours. When you're out on the trail, it is just you, (sometimes, whomever you are with), and the great outdoors! No worrying about deadlines, bills, drama, and what to make for dinner. This is your mini vacation from the world. 

3. It's the perfect space for self-reflection.
Because you are in such a quiet and calm setting, it is the perfect place for reflecting upon your life. While on hikes, Adam and I love sharing stories from our childhood, chatting about our future, and reflecting on things that have happened in our lives that have changed us for the better.

4. You have a designated time to sign-off from the internet for a couple hours.
We live in a society that is constantly online. Especially our generation, who is always connected 24/7, it is extremely difficult to sign-off and just live in the present. We have been working extremely hard to use our phones less while on hikes and spend more time connecting with one another and others we encounter throughout the trail.

5. You meet so many friendly people.
You'd be surprise how many friendly people you meet out on the hiking trail. Especially for us, who go to an off-leash dog hiking trail, every single person we've encountered has been extremely friendly, loves to chat, and loves taking the time to spend with others. Its just a great experience!

6. It will inspire you to eat healthier.
For us, anyways, after going on a hike, all we want to eat is healthy food. Since we've just worked out and enjoyed the company of nature, we really don't have an appetite for fast food. We always end up coming home and cooking something delicious or going to Freshii. 

7. It is an amazing opportunity for beautiful natural photography.
Words cannot begin to express how beautiful it is out on the hiking trail for photography. You can get so many gorgeous shots or spend the time just admiring the beauty of nature.  

8. There's so many natural surprises waiting to be found. 
Every day on the trail is a new surprise. Despite taking similar trails every day, we always encounter different people and sometimes even different wildlife. We've seen plenty of deer tracks and bunny tracks. And we've even thought we saw a deer in the distance, deep in the woods. In the summer time, there are lots of squirrels, beavers and chipmunks out too. Echko loves to chase them!

9. Hiking is a great bonding activity with friends and family.
We love bringing others out on the trail with us. A while back we brought my god daughter and her brother out on a hike with us. A couple times a month, we also bring our friend Kevin along for a hike when he's free. Its a great free bonding activity to do together while chatting and getting some exercise.

10. It feels good to accomplish a a trail you used to think was impossible for you.
It is the absolute best feeling in the world! One day, Adam and I hiked down a veteran trail with Echko (on accident - out of curiosity). We didn't think we would make it and it was extremely scary. It was a very steep incline with hiking ropes attached everywhere (although we didn't have hiking ropes of our own to attach). So we hiked down the hill in full, with no hiking equipment. It was extremely scary but was the best feeling in the world when we completed it and got to walk by the waterfront after! Would 10/10 do it again.


These are 10 benefits of hiking on a regular basis. I'd encourage you to go out for a hike once a week if you can find it in your schedule. The benefits definitely outweigh the time taken out of your week to go on one!


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