5 Reasons Why Hiking Is the Best

By Marina Krivonossova on February 12, 2021

As someone who grew up in beautiful and naturally diverse California, I started getting exposure to hiking rather early in my life. Though at first it seemed like a cumbersome activity that my parents made me accompany them on, I quickly realized that hiking is seriously one of the most amazing ways to spend your time. Now, having moved to a place where hiking is not really an option (especially amidst the pandemic), I miss California more than ever. So, if you live in a place with lots of hiking opportunities, I want to tell you why you need to be taking advantage of them! Let me show you five reasons why hiking is the best.

Santa Cruz, California (image via Marina Krivonossova)

1. You get to escape the stresses of everyday life. Being out in nature relaxes you, helps you set your mind free, allows you to forget the worries you face every day, and so much more. When you’re out in nature, you have the chance to forget work, school, your horrible boss, job applications, your neighbor’s screaming kids — all of it. When you’re out hiking, it’s just you and the nature that surrounds you. It’s such a relaxing experience that you shouldn’t be depriving yourself of, especially if you live in an area where you can easily access some nice hiking trails.

2. You get to take some time to yourself. It’s great to have people to talk to at work, at school, and at home (both in person and virtually). Family, friends, and colleagues can help you to feel less lonely, but it’s still incredibly important to take some time for yourself here and there. And what better place to do so than on a hike? When hiking, you get the opportunity to be alone with your thoughts. You can process your feelings and experiences freely, without anyone getting in the way. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll find that nature provides you with the best of opportunities to unwind and really gather your composure.

Bighorn sheep at Valley of Fire State Park near Overton, Nevada (image via Marina Krivonossova)

3. You might see some neat animals. Nature is cool — that’s a given. But you know what’s even cooler? The animals you’ll probably spot along your hikes. When I lived in California, I hiked all around the West Coast of the US. On my adventures, I’ve spotted snakes, desert mice, moles, bald eagles, deer, bears — you name it! I always found it really interesting to see the different kinds of wildlife that various environments foster.

4. You really start to appreciate the natural beauty of our planet. Man-made wonders can be truly fascinating, but nothing compares to the natural beauty of our Earth. The mountains, the forests, the caves — it never ceases to amaze me the kind of things nature created on her own. It seems that people today are easily impressed by the advancements of science and technology — and there’s nothing wrong with that, as it is indeed crazy to see how rapidly the world has advanced. That being said, it’s important to remind ourselves of the beauty of the natural world, and how far it came without human interference. The achievements of the human mind are fascinating, but nothing compares to the natural achievements of our beautiful planet.

Møns Klint, Denmark (image via Marina Krivonossova)

5. You get a workout in. The pandemic has many of us trapped indoors. Learning takes place over Zoom, most jobs have made a shift to remote working, and physical hangouts with friends seem to have become a thing of the past. That’s when hiking steps in to give you the workout you want and need in these difficult times. Plus, with so many nature parks having wide trails with lots of space to keep a distance, there’s no reason you can’t have a friend come along and keep you company if solitude isn’t what you’re looking for. As someone who hates cardio at the gym (it’s just so boring), I could always count on mountain hiking to get my workout in. Before I knew it, I was walking 20k+ steps and climbing 100+ stories — all by going on what felt like a relaxing walk through nature.

If I’ve piqued your interest with my five reasons why hiking is the best, but you’re maybe not sure where to begin looking for hiking trails, there’s a lot of really helpful websites out there to help you find hiking trails near you. You can check out this one to get started, or you can research other relevant websites based on your specific interests and location. Happy hiking!

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