Author: Catherine Bennion
As spring has arrived and summer is on its way, hiking is a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon with friends and family, or just by yourself enjoying nature. Living in Seattle with so many trails nearby, I love to spend afternoons with my family hiking. While sometimes it may be hard to find the motivation to get out and hike, as I find motivation is often hard to find when it comes to exercise, the views and feeling of accomplishment at the top will ultimately be more than worth while.
Not only is hiking a fun and active way to spend a day, but studies show that hiking is also very good for your brain and mental health as well. Studies show an increased amount of outdoor time can increase attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50 percent. Being in nature, surrounded by beauty and away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, allows for a great opportunity to reflect, think, and enjoy the beauty of the world that we live in. It also provides an opportunity to unplug from technology for a while to just be with nature and have genuine time with friends and family, or time to reflect and think by yourself.
My mom, my two sisters, and I recently climbed Mt. Si, a mountain in the Cascades just over an hour outside of Seattle. My sisters and I begrudgingly put on our running shoes in the morning and pleaded to stay home that morning. In response to all of our complaining my mom exclaimed that this was going to be “forced family fun” and promised that we would have a good time. The hike up Mt. Si is about four miles to the top, much farther than I imagined I could hike. While the hike was long, and sometimes painful, the time I got to spend with my family laughing and playing games made the long trek up the mountain fun, even though we all complained about it in the beginning. When we finally reached the top, the views were incredible and the time and effort spent going up the hill seemed to not matter anymore compared to the feeling of accomplishment and gratitude to be able to be so in touch with nature. By the time we got back down to the bottom, my thighs were burning my legs felt like Jell-o but I felt great about myself and felt great about getting out of the house and being active for the day! While it may be hard to find the time or energy, a short hike or walk through a park, is always worth it for the feeling of peace and accomplishment when it’s finished.
Wise, Abigail. “Proof That Hiking Makes You Happier And Healthier.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 7 Dec. 2017