Summer is an ideal time to lace up your boots and hit the open trail! From physical and mental benefits to spending more time with loved ones – check out all the reasons hiking should be at the top of your to-do list this summer.
1. Slim down for the season. “Hiking is one of the simplest and healthiest things you can do,” says Jeff. It doesn’t require a membership or expensive equipment – just a good pair of boots or walking shoes. Plus, most doctors will agree that hiking can help with cardiovascular health, muscle strengthening and weight loss. For example, the average person can burn as many as 4,000-6,000 calories a day hiking in the mountains while carrying a backpack. That’s comparable to running two marathons!
2. Give yourself a boost. Regular exercising like hiking can boost your immune system, helping you fend off those dreaded summer colds. Also, with regular hiking, you may sleep better and feel more energized during the day.
3. Thinking more positively. “Hiking brings about my most positive thoughts and conversations,” says Jeff. This is not surprising, sine doctors explain that exercise increases the chemicals in the brain that relieve stress, resulting in a happier state of mind.
4. Feel more creative. The hiking trail is a perfect place to let your mind be free. Jeff believes thinking outside the box requires physically getting outside the box. “After I get a good stretch down the trail, my mind opens up in a carefree way, and my best ideas come to me.”
5. Take advantage of summer weather. Summer is a great time to take up hiking. Many National Parks have a limited season because of extreme weather, but in the summer, more hiking trails are open for enjoyment.
6. Spend quality time with friends and family. Hiking is something families and friends can do together. Plus, introducing kids to hiking helps them take steps in the right direction when it comes to developing healthy habits and an appreciation for nature. “If we start our youngsters out in the outdoors, there is a good chance they will connect with nature throughout their lives,” says Jeff.
7. Unplug and reconnect. Our cell phones, the TV, social media and more can be huge distractions from connecting with family members and friends. Hiking as a group is a great way to break away from technology and focus on what’s really important – being with the ones you love.