Adventures begin the moment you open your eyes in the morning. We have an opportunity to explore our community, our hometown, and our environment!
Hiking is an adventure you can take by yourself, with your friends, family, and/or loved ones.
“Believe in your epiphanies. Believe in yourself. Take action. And watch the world conspire to support you.” - Elise Ballard
Not everyone is blessed to have a love for the outdoors because most of us are from the inner city and without proper transportation and knowledge the mountains seem far away. I started hiking seriously in my late 30's and noticed that the crowds were usually older and I wondered why? In the last 5 years social media has made the outdoors more of challenge which has it's pros and cons however I want to concentrate more on the benefits of the outdoors. The outdoors has helped me greatly with my health and when I mentioned health I don't just mean our physical health but also our mental and spiritual health!
Mental Health & The Outdoors
In 2015, I took part in the the #52HikeChallenge. The 52 Hike Challenge, an initiative started by an Orange County couple, Karla Camador and Phillip Stinis, was a project to get people hiking once a week and to use the hashtag to connect and engage with others on social media. In that year I felt that my weekly outings allowed me to connect more to the outdoors which provided me time away from the internet, away from sports, and time away from the city. I noticed that my mental health improve because I had a moment in time where I did not have to check on my phone for updates or notifications. I only had to be present with my trek, my surroundings, and with the people I was with.
Spiritual Health & The Outdoors
“I rather be in the mountains thinking of GOD, than in church thinking about the mountains .”
- John Muir
I was born Catholic but I can hon at any church. The first time I backpacked in the Northern coast of California I felt at peace with the sunset overlooking the ocean as the sun went down as well as the sunrise while I wake up in my tent. When it comes to health we can't just think of our physical health, we must also align it with our mental and spiritual health.
Physical Health & The Outdoors
Many of us think about our physical health when we hike because it does leave us sweating and our bodies aching once we finish. Hiking some mountains can be tougher than an hour or two in the gym. Hiking is like hitting the gym though and we must come ready before we start hitting bigger and higher mountains. I've added yoga to my workout routine to stretch my joints before and after my hiking to make sure I recover correctly and also to have my body ready for the next adventure.
I want to thank everyone that has ready through the end. When people ask you why you hike I hope that you can expand to others that it's not only good for our physical health but our full health which includes; mental, spritiual, and physical health.
Peace be with you!
- R. Mateo