As many of you know, I’m an avid hiker. My love for hiking began about 6 years ago when I was in my last year of high school. I randomly asked my best friend if she wanted to go hiking. We ended up exploring the nature of Daly Ranch in Escondido, CA and eventually got lost. We ended up at the backside of the Escondido Humane Society—thankfully my mom came and picked us up. From then on, hiking turned into a free activity to do with friends. Over the years, it’s turned into my favorite way to unwind my body and brain. If you have yet to experience the wonderful bliss of hiking, read some of my favorite reasons to huff and puff my way up to the top of mountains.
It’s Free (Well, Usually)
Unless you live in the plains (I’m so sorry), you probably have some hiking spots near you. Unless they are at National Parks or have some fancy zip line at the top—which would be awesome—odds are you won’t have to pay to go. If you don’t already have shoes with good traction or a good water bottle, you might have to spend some money.
The great thing about falling in love with a hobby that’s exercise, is you won’t hate exercising! If you’re pretty out of shape, your first hike might be a challenge. I guarantee you, if you can push yourself to the top for that view, you will want nothing more than to do it over again. Hiking is one of the best exercises you can do to burn calories, tone up your legs and butt, and even promote better posture and core strength. Hiking is a fun and easy activity to transition into a more active life.
You know that happy feeling you get when you have a couple glasses of wine? That wonderful euphoric feeling is also present when you exercise (not quite the same, but you catch my drift)! Your body releases the chemicals called endorphins during exercise. If you have never experienced a hiker high, man, you are missing out on my favorite drug. Drop the bong and throw out your liquor, once you get that hiking high, you will not only want to exercise more, but will feel happier and reduce any anxiety or depression you might have.
It Will Encourage You To Exercise More
I’m not a huge fan of the gym, but early sunsets and cold weather (below 65 is horrendous) forces me into the gym four times a week for weight training and cardio. Why do I go? So I can get better at hiking! Once you start seeing results or enjoying that hiking high, you will want to incorporate more exercise into your life. I now think of going to the gym as my preparation for my weekend hike. Once you exercise on a regular basis, your hike will get easier and you will look for new trails and mountains to climb! I lost my love for exercise during college but found it again after I took up hiking regularly. Hiking is a great motivator for exercise. There’s nothing worse than not being able to breathe up a mountain. Also, those endorphins are addicting.
Nature is Not Only Pretty, But Makes You Happy
Okay but seriously, would you rather sit on the couch all day eating processed food, or go smell fresh air and feel the sun kiss your skin, or in my case, scorch your skin? I promise, with the right amount of sunblock and allergy medicine, nature is the best! There’s a reason light therapy is prescribed to people suffering from depression. Doctors prescribe outdoor exercise to reduce stress, depression, anxiety and mood disorders.
No, seriously. Look at these beautiful pictures I’ve taken. They’re not nearly as beautiful as experiencing in it person, but WOW. Also, sunsets are the best from a high view.
The Real Reason:
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” –Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
Don’t shoot your husband. Get off your butt, stop making excuses and go hiking.
Prepare to be a happier and healthier person!