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Hiking For A Happier Healthier You

Hiking is one of the few activities that can actually improve your mental, physical and spiritual health and well being. Not to mention that it can be a welcome departure from your daily routine.

Twice a week, you can find me at a local or state park putting a few trail miles under my feet. Chances are excellent that you have a few good hiking spots in your area. You don’t have to plan a vacation to go hiking, but I do on occasion.

Mentally, hiking gives you the space and time to figure things out. We get so involved with what’s happening in our lives that we lack the clarity to make good decisions. Take that time to think, or avoid thinking entirely. If you immerse yourself in the backcountry and shut up long enough to hear nature, something wonderful starts to happen.

The challenges you face in daily life might not seem so daunting once you’ve completed a section of challenging trail. Hiking can present you with all sorts of terrain and obstacles. As a result, you may feel there’s nothing you can’t do. Everything else is put into perspective.

Improvements hiking can provide for your physical health are remarkable. Your resting blood pressure will decrease, eliminating hypertension, the heart muscle will strengthen preventing heart disease, you’ll see a noticeable increase in stamina and if you’re on a diet, hiking can help you lose weight.

Experiencing nature, you may find yourself taking more responsibility for our earth’s precious natural resources. This helps us make better decisions for our childrens future and the future of our planet. Spiritually, we are of the earth.

I’ve seen hiking mend the rifts between father and son, husband and wife and the wonderful outdoor memories you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. I cannot think of a more rewarding family pastime.

More good news about day hiking, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy gear. It doesn’t take much to get started. Be sure to learn the basic Leave No Trace principles first. They will help you learn how to minimize your impact and make the most of your outdoor experience. Go take a hike!

James Warner is a hike leader and distance hiker and hike leader who believes that hiking can improve a person mentally, physically and spiritually. To learn more about hiking, please visit: hiking guide

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