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First off, hiking is a great form of exercise. Second, who doesn’t love nature? I get it, I get it – bugs are NOT fun. But, that’s why you either a) pick a fall or winter time to go hiking, or b) pick a different area/climate that doesn’t have as many bugs. Staying inside is kind of like guarding yourself off from experiences. The sunrise/sunset is never the same, you might see animals one day and not see them the next, and the possibilities of how the hike could turn out are endless. You could see a wild animal such as a deer in its majestic beauty, a puppy, or a baby! You might even make a new friend on your journey while walking or during your times of rest to enjoy the scenery and the atmosphere. There are not only emotional benefits but there are also health benefits that include: lower stress levels, improved mood, and enhanced mental wellbeing, a reduced risk for heart disease, lower blood pressure, and many more benefits. You can find the benefits anywhere online, but I’ll do you one better and give you a few links to look at.


mountains of montana
Photo by Kalen Emsley from Unsplash

Health Benefits of Hiking 

Hiking Benefits for Heart, Mind, and Body 

5 Ways Hiking is Good For You 

I for one love hiking. It feels so good in my muscles and lungs to keep moving and doing something out of the ordinary from everyday life. When I was in Taiwan in 2017, I climbed up what they call the “Monkey Mountain.” It was amazing! The view was gorgeous, and I made a few monkey friends along the way!

view of taiwan from the mountains
Original photo by Mandy Parker

I took this photo on the top of the mountain along with a picture of one of the monkeys! I also had some one-on-one time with one of my new friends, and she took me hiking early one morning in the mountains. It was so beautiful and breathtaking to have hiked along with nature as the world wakes up. Here’s the picture from that hike.
mountain view of taiwan
Original photo by Mandy Parker

Hiking seems to clear my head. You’re usually hiking up hills or mountains so you’re at a different altitude and sometimes it makes it seem like you can breathe better the higher you go because of the motivation the beautiful view gives you. It’s also a place where you can find alone time with nature. You can think about anything and everything up there. You can think about life, family/friends, what you want to do with your life, and (in my personal opinion) it’s a great place to find the peace to write your thoughts or even a book.

It’s also a really good experience to have with your friends away from society and social media. Lots of hiking spots don’t have cell service which is cool in my mind because it makes you go back to the time before cell phones were invented. We need more down to earth time especially with the people we care about without being distracted by technology.

Whatever your reason for going outside, take the time to enjoy it. Tomorrow is never promised, so live today like it’s your last. So go on, get out there. Nature is waiting to be admired.

 

Mandy Parker

Louisiana Tech '23

I'm a sophomore majoring in sociology. I just want to help people wherever I can. Tomorrow is never promised, so I live for the moments we have now.
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