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Hiking Adventures: The Top 5 Benefits to Get on the Trail

Uncategorized Jul 08, 2018

Hiking deep into the woods, moving my body, getting into a rhythm and becoming one with nature MOVES me in a such a powerful way. I find that hiking daily helps me be more creative and allows me to get my mind clear before doing tasks that require a lot of focus. And believe it or not, there's actual research to prove that spending time outdoors increases attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50 percent.

I've been an avid hiker for several years now, and thankfully I live near numerous trails. Recently, my boyfriend and I went on a hike to Glen Onoko Falls in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. It was breathtaking to say the least. If you are anywhere near the area and reasonably good physical shape, I highly recommend going. You won't regret it.

I am so passionate about my hikes and getting into the woods (or nature), that I've inspired a number of folks to do the same. So, I'm here to spread the love a little more and share some of the benefits as well as my tips for planning a longer destination hike.

Top 5 Benefits to Get Out On A Hike

1. Improve Your Mood

There’s just something about the combination of moving your body, the fresh air and the views that transforms your outlook.

Not only is hiking a great way to incorporate physical activity, it’s quite possibly one of the best forms of fitness when it comes to your mind. I personally go on hikes to clear my mind and reduce anxiousness. I am always much happier when I emerge from the woods. You could say nature breeds optimism.

2. Stress Relief & Self Care

Time devoted to hiking is a great form of self-care which is one way to also create a stress-relief habit. Hiking helps my mood, manage stress, and keep my ‘zen,’ as well as clear my head.

3. An Incredible Form of Movement/ Exercise

Many people don't think walking is really an effective form of exercise, but let me tell you, it is. Hikers are seriously fit. I'm shocked at how hiking has improved my cardiovascular health, my stamina and keeps my body toned (Namely my legs! Want sexy calves? Hike more!). I have even lost weight with consistent hiking alone. Hikes are also a great way to get your daily allotment of 10,000 steps all in one fell swoop.

You don't need a gym, you just need nature. You may have trails near you that you haven't discovered yet. Hiking on a trail (dirt/earth) is easier on your joints than pounding on pavement. And besides, treadmills are boring. Nature is FREE!

4. Quality Time with Yourself,  Loved One or Friend

Need I say more? Plan a hike for just you, so you can let your mind be unlimited and learn to enjoy the peace and tranquility. Hiking is also a great way to connect with a friend or loved one. To create an experience as well as time for quality conversation, and even a great photo opportunity. I hike by myself a lot but I also take hikes with my kids individually when I can, it's a great time to have a mommy date with them. I also hike with all of them to foster a sense of family time. And I LOVE hiking with my boyfriend or a good girlfriend too -it's a great way to catch up.

5. Time Unplugged

As a work-from-home mom, I use my hike time to get unplugged and decompress. As well as pull away from the busyness of life sometimes. We are often far to connected via the internet or screens which can cause us to lose connection to ourselves and the people we love. It's always great to pull away and reconnect.

“Being out in nature, away from the business of our daily lives and technology, can allow people to connect with themselves and nature in a way that brings about peace and a sense of well-being,” Leigh Jackson-Magennis, REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach New England Market Manager, tells The Huffington Post.

Bonus: You might just see a unicorn!


Items You Need For A Hiking Adventure


Good shoes and comfortable clothes can make all the difference on your hikes. I also like to wear a hat and bring some comfortable (easy to stash away when I don't want to wear them) sunglasses. I don't usually need them unless I'm on a sunny trail and near water on a sunny trail too.

For this trail at Jim Thorpe, good hiking shoes were required. I love my Keen hiking shoes I got from REI. Hiking pants that are lightweight/breathable with good pockets and some adjustable options are also nice to have for comfort & ease in movement..

A good nature elated book for the drive too perhaps.

2. Water Bottles & Hydration

I love my Hydro-Flask to avoid plastic or glass on a hike like this and it keeps my drink insulated and is spill proof. Brett brought a comfortable backpack with pouches to hold our two flasks.

By the time we reached the top and started to descend we were starting to get a bit fatigued, this is when it's a good time to hydrate and get in some electrolytes or even a green drink. Electrolytes can also help with cramping muscles (these are my favorite electrolyte packets).If you feel lightheaded or wonky at all, that's a good indication you need electrolytes.

And if you are going on a longer hike and plan to hike frequently, a camel back for water is a mega plus.

3. Safe skin care

Bug spray may be needed depending on the time of year and weather. Most often I don't need it but on muggier days in the summer I'm glad to have it with me. I use a natural insect repellent that is deet-free and uses essential oils called Buzz Away Extreme.

Safe sunscreen in case you are in the sun for longer periods of time. I also almost always wear a hat for sun protection and to help avoid ticks getting into my scalp (all this hair makes it harder to dig those bad boys out). I'm using a mineral sunscreen that is much safer for my body and health by Beauty Counter ( this is the lotion I use, there's also a stick and spray in addition to just the lotion).

I also like to bring lip balm with me, if you get dehydrated at all you'll be glad you have it. It's also nice to have in more extreme weather too. I'm using a lip balm by Eco Lips, I like the vanilla honey flavor. This brand is certified organic, cruelty & gluten free and it's a larger lip balm so it lasts a bit longer.

Last but not least, always do a tick check after your hike.

4. Medical

Obviously pack any emergency medications you may need. It could be best to keep them on your body in case you get split up and aren't carrying  your pack. It's also a good idea to let anyone with you know your medical history/needs. Even though my asthma has been in remission for almost 2 years, I still carry an emergency inhaler just in case. A small first aid kit might not hurt either.

5. Snacks

For longer hikes of 2 hours or more, take some lightweight easy snacks that don't require refrigeration. We brought bananas, clementines, pumpkin seeds (with extra salt) and jerky. My favorite options for jerky include; Nick's Sticks (turkey is my preference) and Epic Bars (particularly the Turkey Strip with Cranberry & Sage).

6. Safety

Don't hike solo unless you are a very public and heavy traffic path.

If your partner won't hike with you (believe it or not this comes up A LOT when I suggest walking as a form of easy gentle movement to my clients), find a friend, join a local meet up group or take your dog (don't have a dog, borrow a friends?).

Phfew! That was a lot to share and I hope you found it helpful. Did I miss anything?

If you try any of the tips I shared in this post and found them helpful, leave me a comment below and let me know. If you liked this post, please consider being a part of the tribe that is being built here. A good way to begin is to sign up for my newsletter.

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