Hiking? Are you serious Stephanie? You damn right I am! ;) You are probably thinking what kinda fun hiking ever could be. I know you do, I’ve had the same thoughts when Mr. Boyfriend took me on my first walk into the wild a few years ago. But now this Fit Girl is really into hiking the wild nature, with backpack and all. It even helps me out in the gym when I get challenged to perform an ‘impossible’ work-out! Let ME tell YOU Fit Girls why I think all of you should consider hiking!
The first time I went ‘hiking’, walking no more than 5k in the forest, I absolutely didn’t see the fun in exploring the world in circles. I even wanted to sit down after we only walked for 5 minutes - I’m not kidding - and eat the snacks we brought along. So okay, this was six or five years ago, and back than I wasn’t in the best shape, which explains why I needed to sit down every five minutes. Clearly I underestimated walking in nature, because this is not like the walking pace we have while we are shopping. Let alone hiking, which is a whole different “work-out” going up and down hills, mountains and rocky roads.
Explore the world by hiking
Perhaps this sounds a bit philosophical, but going back to basic like walking in nature has something pure and magical. Brings back things into perspective again. You will not only get stronger physically, but also mentally. Like the fact that you are truly dependent on your perseverance and determination to reach the top/end of your route. Or the opportunity to blend in and just be quiet and let serval thoughts run through your mind. Very refreshing! Also realising the fact that you are on your own here and in order to “survive” you need to keep going forward (walking). And backwards if you get lost. But that’s okay, getting lost sometime makes it exciting and next time you will pay more attention on what direction you are going. The most challenging and beautiful part of exploring the world by hiking is to simply let go and walk the walk. GO, FALL, LEARN and GET UP AGAIN.
Doesn’t this also apply to our fit journeys … because I do see a lot of similarities ;)
Like that little voice in your mind, during your work out in the gym or running 10k telling you to stop because you are too tired… If you let go of these boundaries you will see that there is a whole new world for you to explore beyond the limits you give yourself. Think about it.
The first time I went ‘hiking’ I already stopped after 5 minutes. Let myself believe that I was already tired and therefore I didn’t like ‘hiking’. Even making myself believe that I didn’t see the point of it. In the last five years I got rid of these limits and for me the possibilities are endless now.
YES I struggled walking the Milford track in New Zealand with a backpack of 10k on my back, YES I got injured walking down Mount Kenya in Africa and YES, when I walked 40k at night raising money for refugees around the world I cried the last 5k since every bone in my body hurt. BUT, I didn’t die, I survived and each and every time made me realise that good things don’t come without struggle, fear and you simply need to let go of the “I can’t do it and that’s why I don’t like to do it” mindset.
Besides the fact that hiking can help you change your mindset about your inner strength and positivity, it also has a lot of other benefits.
Why all Fit Girls should consider hiking
Besides the fact that exploring the world while hiking is an amazing adventure and gives you this proud feeling when you reach the top- these are the “serious” healthy benefits:
- Improves your overall health
- Lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Helps to prevent and control diabetes
- Increases your bone density
- Reduces your cancer risk
- Elevates your mood
- Alleviates insomnia
- Provides your daily dose of vitamin D
- Reduces stress
AND THE ‘FUN’ FACTS:
- It’s simple (like we all know how to walk)
- It’s real (no photo filters needed because the scenery is already Instagram prove)
- It’s cheap (unless you decide to go PRO, but going back to basic is GREAT too)
- It’s mind blowing (like you are walking through a screensaver, because that’s how beautiful nature is on top of the world)
- It’s free fun (since you look ridiculous in your not-so-fashionable hiking clothes, which is totally fine since everybody looks that way)
If after reading all of this makes you consider to go hiking continue reading for the "Tips & Tricks” on that could make this journey more comfortable and lots of fun. :)
Tips & Tricks
- Invest in good walking / hiking shoes and socks. Those shoes DON’T come in pretty pink and glitter, they are ugly as hell but your feet will love you for it. Socks are as important as your shoes. Trust me, spend extra money on them.
- Don’t immediately go on a 100k hike with your new walking / hiking shoes, walk them in a few times.
- Invest in a good backpack. Depends on what kind of a hike you are going for. One day (small backpack), several day’s with overnight camping (large backpack). If you are not sure you will like hiking that much, ask around if you can borrow a friend’s backpack so you can try it out.
- Don’t bring stuff along in your backpack you don’t need. Just fill it up with food, chocolates and enough water. Snacks are the best during hiking. ;)
- Make sure you also bring a first aid kit along, patches for blisters, charged phone (to track your time and make selfies, watch (if the battery of your phone dies of taking all those selfies), toilet paper (if you gotta go, you gotta go), rain coat, flashlight, knife, extra pair of dry socks and clothes that will keep you dry and warm. Unless it’s hot outside, don’t forget a hat, sunblock and sunglasses.
- If your backpack doesn’t have a rain bag you can put your stuff in a garbage or plastic bag to protect them from getting wet if you need to cross a river..Haha just kidding, for if it starts to rain and your backpack gets wet your stuff will stay dry.
- Don’t ever go hiking without a map or proper route direction. Unless you want go Bear Grylls survival style. But he makes you drink you own pee if you get lost in the Sahara. So think again. Be well informed about the route you are walking and the facilities the hiking area has. If there are no huts along the way where you can, rest, eat and drink (refill your water bottle) you need to make sure you bring enough food and water yourself.
- Hiking sticks are the best! YES, it looks lame but they can help you out with the correct walking pose, give you support on rocky routes and a difficult descent. Prevents injuries.
Well this is a lot of information but I believe my message it’s clear: FIT GIRLS NEED TO CONSIDER HIKING! Because it's FUN, good for your HEALTH, positive MINDSET and a great outdoor activity. So next time you go on a holiday or don’t know what to do the weekends? Explore the internet for hiking tours in your own country or visit the visitor information desk of your holiday destination to add an adventure in your trip.
“CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN, SO YOU CAN SEE THE WORLD; NOT SO THE WORLD CAN SEE YOU.” - McCullough
So..see you Fit Girls on top of the world! ;)