When people would tell me that they were planning on going hiking, I would instantly assume that they were out of their minds. I could only imagine how boring it would feel to walk around in the middle of nowhere without seeing all kinds of city buildings and cars driving past me.
If I am being honest, I used to assume that people who enjoyed hiking were sports freaks or the kinds of people that hope to end up on a show like Survivor at some point. However, after finally agreeing to go hiking with a friend, I learned that there is so much more to it than what most people tend to realize.
The Fresh Air and the Sounds of Nature
The first thing that I noticed while starting out on my hiking adventure was how fresh the air around me was. I am used to living in an area where there are a lot of large buildings and vehicles, so I am sure the air quality is not nearly as good as it is in areas where people would normally love to go hiking.
There was something about that fresh air and the sounds of nature that truly gave me such a relaxed feeling. I did not expect to feel so good when starting out on this adventure, but it felt a lot like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I was suddenly much calmer and more at ease than I had been before.
Clearing My Mind
Because I was no longer distracted by the hustle and bustle that goes on in the city, I had far more time to concentrate on what was right there in front of me for a change. I was enjoying the beautiful, natural scenery around me and I managed to see some breathtaking views that truly amazed me.
There were beautiful trees and flowers, birds, small creeks, and assorted rocks of all shapes and sizes. I was surprised by what I was seeing because I had never experienced something so magnificent, but I was even more impressed with the way that I started feeling after hiking for just a few minutes.
In a matter of minutes, I was already feeling good. The truth is that I spend a lot of time working each day and when I am not working, I am usually busy doing something else that takes up a lot of my time while keeping me from doing things that I enjoy.
It felt good to do something that was not stressful for a change. I felt like I could finally breathe, relax, and just take my time instead of rushing to get things done as I would normally need to do at work or at home. I was moving all around at my own pace and just taking in everything that I was seeing, which was such a genuinely good feeling for me.
Feeling Better After a Hike
After spending around two hours outdoors, I was starting to feel tired and decided to start making my way back home. Once I got home, that feeling of being less stressed and far more relaxed stayed with me.
There are times that I have found it difficult to fall asleep, but once I was ready for bed, I ended up falling right out and slept better than I had in such a long time. I have since realized that hiking made me feel a lot better and is something that everyone should do if they would like to feel good, too.
If you are anything like me, you may feel a bit skeptical about the benefits of hiking. You may think that the people who enjoy hikes are sports freak who want to spend every waking moment doing different exercises, but that is the furthest thing from the truth.
I understand why you would think that because I was in the same boat and I believed the same things, but I have learned that hiking is a fantastic physical activity for everyone. It does not matter if you are extremely fit or not because you can still enjoy hiking.
I was pleasantly surprised to realize how good hiking made me feel both physically and mentally. I have since decided to make hiking a priority in my life and it is something that I try to do at least two to three times a week as a natural stress reliever.
Because of hiking, I feel much less stressed than I did before and I am getting in better physical shape, too. If you are looking for a relaxing way to relieve your stress and get in better shape, I would highly recommend hiking. You can spend as much or as little time as you would like outdoors to reap all the benefits that come with going on a hiking adventure.