Why should you start Hiking?
HIking is a passion I discovered in the last few years totally by chance. Having spent the majority of my life in Milan and not coming from a travellers family background I have never been a super sporty person or never had the chance nor thought about to try out hiking living in a city context.
People have the misconception that hiking is an extreme activity only possible for extra fit people obsessed with fitness and the gym. So in our mind we start putting barriers in front of us discouraging from even trying plus the fact that our routine life make us tired and lazy.
We couldn’t be more wrong: the less you do the more you feel tired and demotivated.
The truth is that you don’t know how free, strong and relaxed hiking makes you feel until you actually try with an easy hike of a couple of hours and notice the beauty of nature around you and your mental state change once you are home.
You challenge yourself, you find motivation to get to the end of the trail, to enjoy stunning views, and realise you are stronger than you think you are and this boost your self-confidence and your general mood.
“Walking is a man’s best medicine” Hippocrates
Doctors have actually started prescribing walks in nature instead of calming pills to help people with anxiety and depression problems to find the cure from within. Walking in the nature has a powerful relaxing effect on our brain and help us distancing from our problems and adopt a more rational point of view.
It is scientifically proven that hiking is a low-impact sport helping preventing heart diseases, losing weight and helps boosting your health system. Nature is the best free medicament to nowadays “Mal de vivre“.
How I started Hiking
I started hiking without really realising that I actually took on a new sport. During my week-end wanders and holidays I would plan sightseeing and visits to interesting natural spots and then I realised I enjoyed it deeply and made me feel much calmer and fulfilled compared to a shopping afternoon when you buy clothes you don’t need and you stress yourself out in the crowd.
For the first time I felt like I haven’t wasted my weekend, I felt fitter, accomplished and happy! Most of all, you discover new places every time and going on an excursion close to where you live is a good substitute of travelling when you can’t.
When I moved to UK, it was one of my favourite activities to go cycling or hiking in the woods, blackberry picking, or kayaking along the rivers admiring the stillness of nature, birds singing, crossing fields dotted with sheep and cows and stopping for a picnic in the middle of the forest.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir
Hiking: a life teacher and a balm for the soul
The beautiful thing about hiking is that it’s truly an activity everyone can do. Whether you’re young or old, an expert or a beginner, there’s a trail out there waiting for you! It is truly addictive, once you start you will keep on looking for the next places to explore and gradually take on more challenging and rocky trails pushing yourself to do more and more kilometres to reach the top of the hill, the top of the mountain, the top version of yourself!
“The best view comes after the hardest climb.” Unknown
Hiking teaches us a lot about the attitude we should have towards life and motivates us to go beyond easy-reach objectives, to leave behind what feels comfortable and reassuring. The best hikes I have ever made are the most challenging ones like climbing a steep hill or a mountain on my own because it allowed me to distance myself from my everyday worries and frustrations, and find the answers I was looking for in nature. The reward is assured: once you arrive at the top a breathtaking view will be the well-deserved prize for all your efforts!
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” Beverly Sills
Today’s society makes you feel impatient when you don’t see immediate results from your attempts or make you expect other people to help us achieving our goals: generally we all tend to give up and try something else.
Hiking is a good teacher: it remind us that nothing is free or easy in life and that if you want to change your current situation you need to step out of your comfort zone and change your lazy attitude. You need to go out there and grab what you want!
The key for success is being determinate and constant in the pursuit of your objectives even when the path gets steep and you struggle! Big changes require big efforts and there is no way to get everything you want immediately.
If this article motivated you in trying out hiking, then check my upcoming articles about the most important items you need to pack in your rucksack for hiking safely and the best hikes I made so far in Europe!