Sitting down day after day with your eyes stuck to a computer screen and a phone glued to your ear may be financially rewarding, but it isn’t a natural way of living. Consequently, it leads to physical and mental stress, which, if left unchecked, can cause serious health problems further down the line. What you need is a hobby that takes you right away from your working environment in the City to a place where you can unwind mentally and use your body as nature intended. In short, you need to take up hiking.
What is hiking?
At its simplest, hiking is a long walk in the country that you indulge in for pleasure. Long is taken to mean several kilometres, and not just a twenty minute stroll around the local park. A more serious definition of hiking is an outdoor activity that involves walking in natural surroundings over scenic terrain that is often mountainous or hilly.
The benefits of hiking
Hiking is great for your cardiovascular system as it involves you in strenuous physical exercise for a prolonged period of time. It’s better than a session at the local gymnasium because it’s done in the open air, which means you can gulp down as much clean, fresh air as you like, unlike when you are exercising in a sweaty room with many other malodorous bodies. Additionally, you improve your overall body strength and feel great physically. You look a whole lot better as well. Gone is the pasty, indoor complexion, replaced by a healthy, outdoor vision that other people warm to. But hiking isn’t just about the physical. As your brain tunes in to the glorious outdoor scenery, you begin to connect with the earth. Soon, you forget about work and think only of where you are as your mind is given licence to roam and revel in your surroundings. Worry and stress are banished as your brain relaxes and refreshes itself.
Is hiking expensive?
To do it properly, you need to buy some specialist equipment. At the very least, you’ll require some stout boots and socks as well as whether proof clothing and a small rucksack to carry such things as food, water, first-aid kit, torch etc. How much you spend is up to you, but as with most things you buy, the more you spend the better the quality. And the question of whether it’s expensive depends on how you view the cost-benefit analysis.