Do you enjoy hiking or are curious about why so many people like hiking?
Over the years I’ve had friends who don’t see the point of hiking and had no interest in trying it out. Well, I haven’t given up on them yet so I’d like to share my top reasons that you should hike.
Why do people like hiking?
People enjoy hiking because it offers numerous physical and social benefits. Being outdoors on a trail lets you enjoy nature and clean air. Hiking helps you to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while allowing you to clear your mind and reconnect with yourself.
According to this HowStuffWorks article, hiking is the fourth most popular outdoor activity. In 2017 alone there were almost 45 million people that actively hiked throughout the year.
That’s a massive increase in popularity, so let’s find out what makes hiking so popular!
Why Do People Hike?
Plain and simple, hiking makes you feel good. Combine that with the fact that hiking is good for you, and that’s one reason why hiking is so enjoyable and popular.
We live in a stressful world that can be hard to get away from. Social media can dominate a large part of our lives, so these outdoor activities give us a chance to step away from it all.
I believe an overlooked reason as to why people hike is that it’s very easy to get into. There are so many beautiful trails and mountains that are perfect for all levels.
You don’t need to be a physical beast to get out and try some hiking trails near where you live. Hiking is an activity that can be done at whatever speed you feel comfortable and enjoyed by either yourself or shared with others.
Physical Benefits Of Hiking
You can ask any hiker and you’ll probably get a different answer as to why they hike, but let’s go over some of the common reasons to hike.
1. Good Exercise
If you haven’t been hiking before you may wonder, is hiking a good exercise? Hiking is a great form of exercise, especially since you can do it at all different levels of intensity.
Even going out for a slower 30-minute hike has positive results for your body and mind. If you’re interested in an activity that allows you to explore while also helping with weight loss, hiking is the hobby to try.
2. Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Life can be a very stressful thing. Before I starting hiking I had no idea how the extent to which hiking is good for your mind.
Just being outdoors and getting some fresh air can do wonders for lowering anxiety levels and just living in the current moment.
3. Non-Competitive Activity
It can be difficult to find activities that are both healthy and non-competitive. The great thing about hiking is that it provides a great opportunity to get a good workout while also spending time with others in a relaxed environment.
When you’re out there hiking you can move at your own pace and really just compete against yourself. There’s no added pressure of being better or worse than other people, and that makes it more fun and exciting in my mind.
4. It’s an Inexpensive Hobby
Is there really a thing as an inexpensive hobby? If there is then hiking is the closest you’ll get to it! When starting out all you really need is a good pair of shoes or boots and a nice place to start walking.
Obviously, there are some other items that can make it a little more enjoyable such as water bottles, hiking poles, or backpacks. But, for beginners, there aren’t really equipment limitations that will keep you from starting.
Social Benefits Of Hiking
We’ve talked about all the physical benefits that hiking gives you, so how about some social benefits that happen?
1. Enjoy Nature & The Outdoors
As I mentioned a little bit above, being outdoors and away from the stresses of phones or tv’s can do wonders for your mental state. Even being outside walking around for 30 minutes a couple of times a week will be noticeable to you after a short while.
Quality time with nature improves our mental health and helps remove stress from our lives. Add this benefit to the physical ones above and it’s pretty clear why so many people prefer hiking.
2. Explore & Discover New Areas
Sometimes it feels like there is an unlimited amount of places for hiking. I would bet that if you went exploring in your city or town you could find some beautiful land that you had never noticed before.
Of course, there are also those famous hiking locations that many people travel to each year. In the end. you’ll never run out of places that you can hike that match your level of experience.
3. Meet Other Hikers
Hiking can be a shared experience between close friends or large groups of people. I love to bring my family and friends out with me, but I can really enjoy a nice afternoon hiking alone.
Since so many people are starting to hike it gives you a great chance to connect with others in your life. When there’s a common hobby between friends it can make it really fun to get out and explore. Then after a few months of hiking, you might start introducing and bringing other people out with you!
Final Thoughts – Why Do People Like Hiking?
There are various reasons that people enjoy hiking which include exploring new areas, reducing stress and anxiety, as well as how it’s good exercise overall.
When I think of hiking I think of enjoyable time spent with others while seeing beautiful views and getting a good workout in. This will obviously change from person to person but if you ask any hiker why they enjoy it, I’m positive their answer will be one from this list.
If you still aren’t sure whether hiking is the activity for you, it’s easy enough to try it out once and decide! Just get your best walking shoes, find a place where you’d like to hike and start hiking!