10 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Take a Hike

There is a state park near my home that we have not utilized enough. Lots of people go there daily to walk their dogs, to fish, to run on the trails, to go horseback riding, and to take hikes. Every year I vow to take more hikes in this park, but it never happens. We go there on occasion, but nearly not enough for my liking.

Ever since I was a kid, I love to exercise outdoors. Fresh air is so important. It fills the lungs and it soothes the soul. Lately though, I have become more accustomed to indoor exercise for convenience purposes. This year is my year! We are getting to that park for regular hikes no matter what!

Why is this so important to me, you ask? (Well, maybe you didn’t ask but I’ll pretend for a moment that you did.) Here are 10 reasons to take a hike:

  • Being outside is more peaceful than exercising in a gym environment.
  • You can hike however you prefer. Hike alone, with a friend, with your family, or in a larger group. Listen to music or listen to the sounds of nature. It is all based on your own preference.
  • Exercising in nature provides greater feelings of revitalization and positivity, as well as more energy, than exercising indoors.
  • Hiking is calming. In fact, exercising outdoors has been shown to decrease tension, confusion, anger and depression more so than exercising indoors.
  • Hiking can be done based on your own personal time frame. You can hike for 15 minutes or for several hours, depending on your own schedule and preference. Hiking can be varied by route and time so that no two hikes are ever the same.
  • Hiking is a great activity to do with kids. Even kids who are not into team sports. Kids who spend significant time outdoors could have a stronger sense of self-fulfillment and purpose than those who don’t spend time outdoors.
  • It connects you to nature. Studies show that kids who spend significant time outdoors have more of a connection with the earth and their role in protecting it.
  • You can learn a lot. Many trails, forests, and parks have guides for hikers to learn about the land and its history, the animals, and even the star formations at night.
  • It can make you happy! Being outside in nature promotes positive health effects and long-term psychological well-being for both children and adults.    
  • You can create lasting memories when you hike with your children, from the conversations along the way to helping them learn about the environment.

Land really is the best art

If you want to get outside more too, DiscoverTheForest.org features an interactive map tool that enables users to search for nearby forests and parks, and filter by zip code and desired activities. Free outdoor activities are also available for download and printing, which you can take the next time you visit.

Discover the Forest is a public service campaign created by the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council with the primary goal of inspiring families to connect with nature. The campaign also features online communities on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also participate bysharing your forest, hiking, and outdoor photos on social media every Friday using the hashtag #ForestFriday.

Join us for a fun Twitter Party all about the great outdoors with the US Forest Service at 1 p.m on June 26th! Follow @Cheecker and #DiscoverTheForest to join the conversation.

Will you be taking a hike this summer?
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  1. My kids and I love going on hikes. We always have fun exploring for creatures and other things in nature along our way!

  2. I live near the beach and love walking there or on the bridge. It is so much nicer than a treadmill and so relaxing!!

  3. Hiking does have a lot of benefits. I enjoy it a lot and usually do it with my fur family who loves it as much as I do.

  4. I can’t even remember the last time I went outside and took a nice nature walk or hike. Usually in the Summer we take hikes as a family but it’s been too darn hot and rainy here lately to do so. I can’t wait for the weather to get nicer.

  5. Lisa J. Jones says:

    Such Great Tips & So Very True I Need To Get Out With The Family & Take More Hikes They Will Do Us All A World Of Good!

  6. rocio chavez says:

    love this and so true..I love being able to take my dogs on mini hikes around our lovely green spaces – it’s so relaxing and beautiful!!

  7. Good tips. I would go for it, but would be a walk.

  8. I could not agree more! Getting outside is one of the best things you can do for your health!

  9. Great tips. We are definitely incorporating more outside walks into our summer this year, and loving every minute of it!

  10. The best exercise to me is getting out into the fresh air. The time passes so much faster and even though I’m getting in shape, it doesn’t feel like exercise because of the beautiful scenery.

  11. we took a hike a few weeks ago and wrote a post about how I loved that everyone was unplugged together.

  12. For me it sounds like great exercise. A nice peaceful hike enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

  13. Maria Oller says:

    I love to stroll the park with my pre-eclampsia is harder ot make it everyday I really miss how peaceful it feels and making some exercise.

  14. I’ve seen the positive effects being outdoors has on my son. He tends to be a really anxious, stressed person and since his work is outdoors, he is able to release so much of that. Nature is restorative to him.

  15. great tips. I’ve never been hiking. I guess because I’m not a big nature/outdoors person. But these are great reasons for me to try!

  16. We just went hiking together as a family last weekend. We had a wonderful time and got a lot of exercise!

  17. My dad used to take me hiking all of the time when I was little it was SO MUCH FUN! We had so many good memories!

  18. Hiking is fun, here in Florida some trails are full of spiders. I love nature and breathing the fresh air. I really like the quote “Land is really the best art”. Nature in general is the best art, happy hiking.

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