Life Stories

Feel Like Taking A Hike? Expect To Enjoy These Secret Benefits

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Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She’s the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

My husband has always been an outdoorsy kind of guy. Me, not so much — that is, until one hike changed everything.

In August of 2015, he persuaded me to join him on a hike on a section of the Appalachian Trail. The whole thing was invigorating in more ways than one.

There’s something very special about hiking on a nice day. Of course, you get the benefit of exercise and fresh air. But it’s also an inexpensive date that’ll tell you a lot about your partner. For example, I had known my husband for over a decade by that point. But I’ve never seen him navigate the great outdoors.

I also had no clue he knew how to filter stream water and make it safe to drink. Suffice to say, those topics never came up in our relationship before.

November 17th was Take A Hike Day, but even if you missed it, you should be inspired to go out there and see if hiking is for you. All you need to do is make sure you have the proper equipment — including great shoes for the outdoors, proper sunblock (yes, even in the winter) and a big water bottle. Bringing some friends along will also make it more fun. Even though I haven’t been on a hike quite as big since, I’m already looking forward to going out with my daughter in the near future, who has seemingly inherited my husband’s love of all things outdoors.

If you still need a little bit of coaxing, here are nine benefits of the hike that made me realize that maybe I’m not such a homebody after all.