The great American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said to focus on the journey and not the destination. While he was talking about savoring life’s little moments, these words can also apply to the Zen-like activity of hiking. Following are five great reasons to get out on the trails when 2020 rolls around.
By far, the best reason for someone to take up hiking is the health benefits it provides, both physically and mentally. The American Hiking Society says that regular hiking can lower a person’s weight, blood pressure and reduce the chances of getting heart disease. It also helps build muscles and bone density. Stress and anxiety are also reduced when an individual hikes consistently. Depending on a person’s fitness level, they can either tackle a mountain trail or a more level path. Hiking doesn’t discriminate.
Nor does it cost an arm and a leg to enjoy. Hiking is inexpensive. Sensible clothing, a good pair of boots or trail shoes, and an appropriate pack are all the items one needs to get started—much cheaper than taking up golf and spending $1,000 on clubs and gear. If a person becomes passionate about hiking, there are hiking-specific vacations all over the world.
Hiking is for life. This low-impact activity can be enjoyed throughout one’s later years. And if hiking is introduced to kids when they are young, it can be a lifetime of enjoyment for them. Unlike a lot of activities and sports that have to be curtailed due to injuries or logistics, hiking intensity, duration, and trail difficulty can be controlled by the individual.
More and more, people live indoors in a world revolving around a six-inch phone screen or a 24-inch computer monitor. Instead of watching television, texting, or playing video games, people would be better off to unplug from their busy lives and spend more of their time in the mountains, forests and fields. A person can hike the same trail time after time and discover something new each trek.
Finally, hiking allows someone to expand their horizons and increase their productivity. Research has shown that consistently spending time outdoors, instead of sitting at a desk, allows people to improve their ability to solve problems by fifty percent.