Of all the things to do in LA, whether you’re chasing your next adventure, or simply looking for a good reason to “go take a walk”, you should definitely consider hiking. I personally love hitting hiking trails near me every Saturday or spending a good weekend camping with friends. While the fun is definitely a big reason why I love doing this, there are numerous perks to hiking that are often overseen.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should consider hiking:
- It is fun: Every hike comes with its own set of unexpected and unanticipated joys, breathtaking views, hidden waterfalls, up-close encounters with wildlife… you never know what the trail will bring your way (if you’re lucky hiking around Los Angeles you’ll get to see some of these amazing creatures)
- It is social: Hiking doesn’t have to be a solo mission. Nothing unites people better than a good challenge. You’ll find yourself making incredible memories with a multitude of different people — each one carrying its own special and heartwarming story in your heart.
- It increases creativity: Research shows that immersion in nature — and the corresponding disconnection from technology — can increase performance on creativity and problem-solving by a full 50%. I know us LA people use that a lot!
- It reduces stress: What better way to put life’s problems into perspective than spending time in mother nature. A recent study shows that time spent on quick outdoor visits have more beneficial effects on perceived stress levels than the same time spent in an urban setting. Nothing better than leaving the congested 405 to take a breather in the Santa Monica mountains.
- It increases fitness: Heading out for a hike can easily burn over 500 calories in just an hour. Plus, hiking trails are often softer on your joints than paved paths and streets, leaving your body less stiff and cranky compared to the usual jog around the block. Boost that LA beach body!
- It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol: Another study shows that hiking on a regular basis can substantially decrease blood pressure and cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
- It helps prevent diabetes: Hitting the trails transform glucose from your bloodstream into energy, lowering blood sugar levels.
- It helps fight depression: Research shows that hiking can inspire people suffering from depression to adopt a physically, more active lifestyle. It has also been used as additional therapy for individuals feeling hopelessness and suicidal.
- It helps fight cancer: A study measuring oxidative stress rates in patients with breast or prostate cancer discovered that long hikes actually improve antioxidative capacity, which helps fight off the disease.
- It gets you in touch with Nature: At the end of the day, truth is, there is nothing comparable to being in nature, finding your inner peace, and rediscovering yourself.
So what are you waiting for? Go find the best hiking trails near you. And “near you” happens to be in Los Angeles or in Southern California, don’t hesitate to reach out for tips!
Picture by Lyvly Ambassador: Suzanne