The pandemic meant that people had to go on holiday closer to home which was equal parts safe and enjoyable. It comes as no surprise then that close to 59 million people in the US participated in hiking activities at least once last year.

Here are the top four reasons why you should start hiking: 


1. Health Benefits

There is no denying that hiking makes you strong, what with the physical exertion and stamina needed for some trails. However, besides building muscle tone, research suggests that the health benefits gained can be far more long-term. 

Studies show that hiking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness and decrease your risk of heart disease. It also has ties to reducing the likelihood of developing diseases like diabetes and some cancers. 


2. Fresh Air and Exercise 

Being exposed for long periods to fresh air and exercise is not only wondrous for your physical health but your mental well-being too. It helps to reduce your body fat and strengthen your bones reducing stress levels and clearing your mind. You can hike your way to a better night's sleep too! 


3. Make New Friends 

Joining a structured tour means you can meet new people who have similar interests to you. You can explore new terrains both at home or abroad with those with a similar fitness level to your own and gives you a lot of time to get to know one another. 

Not only are you keeping fit and socializing but you’re making lifelong friends! By joining a walking group or tour, you can meet people from all over the globe and always be brought back together with your mutual interest in hiking.


4. See New Places

There are so many destinations you can go hiking, the chances are you have walking trails near where you live that you don't even know about! Or you could plan a dream trip overseas, there are so many amazing locations, from trekking to see the mystical Machu Picchu on a tour in Peru to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on a tour in Tanzania!


5. Appreciation of Nature

When you’re on a hiking trail, you get to appreciate nature in a way that isn’t possible in a city or packed tourist holiday destination. There is a truckload of research that shows that being out in nature has a whole host of benefits, including improving your mental health and sharpening your cognition. It provides you with the opportunity to connect with yourself and the environment. 


6. Create Bonds

Hiking is a great activity to do with friends and family, and its a great way to bond. Leave your phone at home, chat and just take in the great outdoors.


7. Anyone Can Do It

Hiking isn't like learning to ski, you don't need any experience and its easy to do, unless you are planning a trek to somewhere majestic like Mount Everest.

Whether you’re hiking just a short journey away from your house or further afield, you can hike in the countryside, up impressive mountains and waterfalls, or along stretches of stunning coastline or cliff edges.