5 Reasons Why You Should Go For a Hike
In Australia we are lucky to have such an abundance of national parks at our doorstep but with the stress and pressure of everyday life seemingly building all the time it can be hard to find the time. Hiking is more than just walking from point A to point B (or in most cases point A back to point A) and here's why you should clear some space this weekend and get outdoors.
#1 - Hiking Burns Heaps of Calories
One thing about national parks is that they usually have an abundance of hills and this means plenty of opportunity to work out those legs. Hiking requires much more concentration than the StepMaster 3000 at the gym as you have to think about every step, especially on narrow or steep sections of a trail.
You will find yourself working out muscles you never knew you had and along with the great cardio workout, the calories practically burn themselves. Don't believe me, punch in an hours hiking into whatever fitness app you have on your phone. Plus you will be so distracted that you won't even notice your legs getting tired, which brings me to...
Use sunscreen to avoid the burn
#2 - You'll Be Amazed at What You Find
Even after hiking some of Perth's top trails this winter I am always excited to discover a new trail because of the diversity of each location. What may look like a boring forest from the highway as you drive past might contain an enclave of wildflowers or a rocky outcrop that is home to a set of rapids or a waterfall.
When you start looking you will start finding and the devil really is in the detail sometimes. Opening your eyes and being aware of your surroundings can let you experience things that you might not otherwise see, hear, smell or touch if you stayed at home on the couch.
#3 - Escape the Real World
The modern world is stressful. KPI's, office politics, deadlines & work/family life balance are all negatives we could do without. While going for a walk or a run round the block is an option there will always be cars, noise and distractions ready to spoil that enjoyment.
The benefits of getting out on the hiking trail may include the vast open space, peaceful quiet, no modern world annoyances or an enclosed forest. Being able to stop on top of the hill you have spent the past half hour climbing up and just admiring the views below is one simple luxury in life that not many get to enjoy these days. If you have time pressures at home due to mini-humans then...
With calves like that he can escape anywhere
#4 - It's a Great Family Activity
With all the weekday pressures we face these days it can be hard to get motivated and plan activities on the weekends. With kids it becomes a much harder challenge but if you are lucky enough to have young ones then why not get them outdoors and show them the beauty of nature.
You and your kids will get some exercise, you can spend quality family time together and almost every national park has BBQ facilities meaning tired legs will soon feel better after a good feed. It might be a little extra work but it will be more than worth it and you might even light a spark and get them excited about outdoor activities.
(Family Not Included)
#5 - It's Just Good Fun
Whether you choose to hike alone and pop in the headphones or you gather a group of friends and head out to your favourite trail, very rarely will things be unrewarding. Situations that may spoil regular day activities such as rain make hiking that much more fun when you are pounding along a trail without a care in the world.
I implore you to get on Google, research trails near your area (or if you live in Perth check out my guide to the best trails) and plan a trip this weekend. Life is what you make it so why not spend it out on the trails, it will be something you won't regret.