Hiking has long been a popular hobby among those who love spending time outside and exercising. There are a lot of hiking trails just waiting to be explored, from the ones that suit beginners to full-blown adventures that require special skills and preparations.
Hiking is a rewarding activity. Aside from the obvious physical benefits, hiking is also rewarding psychologically and emotionally. In this article, I am going to take a closer look at the transformational power of long-distance hiking, and how you can prepare better for your own hiking trips.
It Eliminates Anxiety
We are so used to the everyday hustle and bustle of city life. The hectic nature of living in the city makes us less sensitive to anxiety and the signs of it. The truth is, a lot of us suffer from anxiety issues; we just choose to ignore the symptoms. This isn’t such a good thing to do since the stress we endure could easily lead to bigger emotional problems in the future.
Hiking eliminates those pressures and lets you feel at peace with yourself. You can almost feel your fears and anxiety fading away from the moment you take that first step. Besides, you can fully detach yourself from gadgets and other things that tie you to the stressful things in life when you go on a hiking trip.
It Brings Peace
Anxiety isn’t the only thing you can deal with as you go hiking. Nature itself is incredibly soothing, so you can choose any hiking trail you like and still find peace at the end of it. Long-distance hiking, in particular, is very effective in allowing you to fully absorb the nature around you. You’ll spend less time worrying about things and more time admiring the landscape.
It’s not only emotional either. Studies have shown that hiking helps the body produce endorphins and other feel-good hormones that come with a light to medium exercise. The further you go, the more you will feel at peace, and the more you will be able to enjoy the hiking trip and the benefits it brings.
A Way to Deal with Negative Thoughts
It is also not uncommon for us to get consumed by bad thoughts. Rumination is a big problem for many people, but it is a problem that can be solved by taking a long-distance hike to a beautiful place.
Hiking deals with negative thoughts and obsessions by giving you a reward at the end of the hike. Almost all hiking trails lead to somewhere incredibly beautiful. At the very least, you get to admire the gorgeous landscape you see as you venture further into the trail.
The further you walk, the more obsessive thoughts you can eliminate. It is the nature of hiking; you slowly shed those negative thoughts you’ve been having for so long in exchange for positive things you come across along the way.
It Builds Stamina
Just like walking in general, hiking is an exercise that trains your body in a gradual way. Your first hike may be a big challenge, but you’ll be searching for more challenging trails in no time. More importantly, hiking allows your body to improve in terms of stamina and energy generation.
With the improved stamina, there is no challenge you cannot face in life. You know you have what it takes to deal with what life throws at you, and that feeling brings additional peace of mind and comfort. There is no doubt that you will feel better at the end of the hike.
Taking Your First Step
Now that you know some of the benefits you can get from long-distance hiking, it is time to take your own first step and give hiking a good try. As mentioned before, you have a long list of hiking trails to try, including some that are suitable for first-time hikers.
Still, you want to prepare for the long-distance hike to be able to fully enjoy the experience. First, you need to choose the right destination and work out details about the route you’ll be taking. It is a good idea to have a hiking buddy with you too.
If you want to simplify the process of learning about long-distance hiking, you can take a free beginner backpacking course from The Adventure Junkies. Long-distance hiking involves spending time in nature and surviving the outdoors, and the six modules included in this free course will help you master the necessary skills in no time.
When it is time to finally take your first hiking trip, there are a few extra things in mind. Always put safety first, make sure you have all the hiking essentials and gear with you, and be sure to follow the rules of the hiking trail.
A pleasant long-distance hike will be waiting for you the moment you choose to take that first step. You’ll be amazed by how much you improve, physically and psychologically, at the end of the trip.