The intrinsic reasons why people love to hike by Harvey Barker

Photo: Dominic Morel

There are many reasons why hikers fall in love with hiking. But whatever it is that compels them to hike, two things are perfectly clear: They enjoy hiking and derive many benefits from it.

Below we look at the intrinsic reasons why people love hiking?

To Be One with Nature

Afton Canyon, Mojave Desert

Hiking is arguably the best activity to enjoy nature, with most hikes often covering areas of stunning natural beauty. A hike through Afton Canyon, for instance, perfectly illustrates how a hiker can explore desert, mountains, rivers and caves in one trip.

To Be Physically Fit

Aliso Summit Trail, Orange County

Many hikers pay particular attention to their fitness, and hiking is a great way to be physically active. Hiking has often been compared to walking, though such a comparison is not entirely accurate. The former is a far more dynamic and rigorous activity, particularly since you walk on uneven terrain. The University of Michigan found that compared to walking, the body uses 28% more energy when hiking. With its steep accent followed by a more or less level trail, the Aliso Summit Trail in South Orange County will have you breaking out a good sweat.

To Have a Mind Boost

View from Gaviota Peak, Santa Barbara County

An LA Times report confirms that hiking improves a person’s mindset, in part because it reduces rumination. The article pointed to a study that found that a 50-minute walk is enough to decrease anxiety and improve memory. Hiking is the perfect activity to disconnect from everyday life. A stroll around Gaviota Peak in western Santa Barbara County, which came in at eight in our ‘Top 17 of ’17!’ post, will surely clear your mind. You can even take a detour to its hot springs on your descent.

To Travel

Arroyo Sequit Park, Santa Monica Mountains

Hiking is a perfect excuse to see the world, exercise, relax, and be at one with nature all at the same time. Traveling, of course, has many benefits. Well-Being Secrets lists 25 reasons that traveling is beneficial including increasing your creativity and lowering stress levels. Many people, though, simply don’t travel as frequently as they would like. In an infographic published by Lottoland, they suggest that one of the biggest regrets people have in life is not traveling enough. But this is not the case for hikers, many of whom make it a point to travel as often as possible. As a result, they get the best of both worlds — hiking and traveling — as well as all the benefits. In this regard, a visit to South California is highly recommended as it boasts of quite a number of hiking sites to explore.

So, how about you, what’s your reason for hiking? Feel free to let us know.

One comment

  1. It’s just like yesterday that I’ve trekked Annapurna circuit. Not only we discovered the mountains, but we also experienced the way of living of its wonderful people. By visiting families, villages and charming sites we could feel ourselves immersing in the Nepali culture. I’d love to come back to discover more of this amazing country and its humble people. Would love to thank my guide who really has a good sense of the culture that is so present in Nepal. Trek was expertly organised and we felt looked after from beginning to end. Not only we discovered the mountains, but we also experienced the way of living of its wonderful people. I’ve been on a lot of excursions and have done a lot of travelling before but not more on hiking. Such a wonderful experience to remember.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s