By Kurt Stapleton,

Word Search by Darby Gregersen

This year my wife and I have found a love for hiking. We have been looking for ways to be more active and getting outside. Hiking has been great for our mental health, and is bringing us together as a family.  We love being out in nature, seeing wildlife, discovering new places, observing unique landscapes and trees. Here are some benefits we’ve noticed since we started hiking.

  • Some things we enjoy is the peacefulness of being out in nature. 

We live very busy lives and are constantly in meetings, working with others, on our phones, in front of the computer or driving around town. Going for walk in the woods brings us back to our primitive mind and releases the stress.

  • Hiking has helped us discover new areas in our state. We get to travel to places we wouldn’t normally travel to and we enjoy discovering new places.
  • It challenges our minds. Going for a hike isn’t simply walking in the woods. Most state parks have multiple trails and some are more difficult than others. We have to choose which path we want to take and then you have to make decisions while hiking. It challenges us physically as well. Some trails are very long and can take hours to complete.
  • We also enjoy doing this by ourselves and reconnecting, taking time for ourselves. Going for a hike by yourself can build confidence, recharge your mental battery, and reflect on your life. This can also be a great time to do a mental check in with YOU and help you identify where you might be struggling or if your stressed.
  • Physical health has improved. We both have noticed that we are more active, have better stamina, and are losing weight. Some trails are challenging and require agility and good balance and we are both noticing these changes in ourselves.