Right about this time of year, people across the world begin thinking of changes they want to make within the next 12 months of their lives. This year is no exception, and you can expect to hear people wanting to change or improve on a lot of things: their job, their relationship, their weight, their friends, etc. Others will have the goal of traveling more, or sticking to a budget that will help them save for a house or a car. Forget making a long list of goals that most don’t even keep by March. Instead, here’s why hiking and getting outdoors is the only resolution you need this year, and every year to come:
1. More Hiking Means a Healthier Body
If one of your goals was to lose weight, work out more, or eat healthier, then all you really need to do is get outdoors more. The more you hit the trail or go on backpacking trips, the more exercise you’re going to be getting. Your body will get adjusted to different terrains, using muscles that may have not been worked out in a long time.
Longer backpacking excursions means learning to hold a lot of weight on your body, which is certainly beneficial for those hoping to tone up. As far as losing weight and eating habits go, many people tend to do one or the other, and wonder why they aren’t shedding any pounds off. Going out for a hike or backpacking trip means pre-planning your meals that are filled with things that are good for you and give you plenty of energy, while hiking for long periods of time will work all that off and get you into shape.
2. Getting Outdoors is Good for Your Well-Being
If you’re looking to make yourself into a happier and more stable person, then hit the trails. It’s amazing how much a simple hike can relieve stress and just get your mind feeling better. Even just escaping your daily routine will help you feel more positive. Connecting with nature and understanding your relationship with the outdoors will make you open up your mind more, and if your body is getting the exercise it needs, you’ll feel good along the way. Hiking also teaches us to appreciate the little things around us, which helps us to stop worrying so much, or complaining about the things we have no control over.
3. Hiking Helps to Save Money
If you’re hoping to not spend as much this year on things, then hiking is a great way to help save. You might be wondering how that could be, but think about it this way; hiking is essentially free. Yes, you may have to buy certain gear and figure out transportation to wherever you’re going, but even if you hike the trails nearby your hometown, you’ll find that going out and having a good time doesn’t need to cost much.
Additionally, if you are planning to save for a bigger backpacking trip, it will force you to budget in general in order to make sure you have enough to get what you need. And eventually, after you’ve been at it a few times, you’ll maybe start to realize that things you usually spend money on just aren’t as important anymore. Maybe you used to buy coffee every morning, but lately you’ve found that waking up early to climb a mountain is better than any caffeine.
4. Hiking is Great for Travelers
If you’re the adventurous type that’s hoping to knock off as many destinations as possible for your New Year’s resolution, then start writing your list and packing your bag. Even if you don’t leave your home country, you’ll be amazed at how much there is to see without even having to get on an airplane. If you decide to take your spirit abroad, then even better. You’ll be super prepared to handle hikes in places like the Swiss Alps or Patagonia.
5. Hiking is Good for Relationships
If you’re planning on changing the type of people you hang out with, making stronger relationships with the friends you already have, or even hoping to meet your life partner, then hiking is the answer to all these resolutions. There are tons of ways to convince people in your life to come backpack with you, or gain a whole new social circle in backpacking get-togethers and hiking clubs. You’ll find that by surrounding yourself with people who have similar interests as you, that making new friends or conquering loneliness isn’t so hard after all.
6. There Will Be Absolutely No Regrets
Having hiking as a resolution is really not something that can be measured like your weight on the scale or the amount of dates you get in the coming year. It’s one of those things that you can’t fail at, and you can instead build on each time. Even people who have been hiking for years still create new resolutions every year about where they want to be able to hike next. Now it’s your turn.
Stop committing yourself to resolutions that are often unrealistic in this fast-paced world. Just plan to get outdoors more and you’ll find that all your other goals will just fall into place.