Working out is great, most of us do it in some shape or form, but sometimes stepping out of that gym and into the outdoors can be gratifying. Plus, the change of scenery and surrounding yourself with nature is not only good for the body, but also great for the mind.

Hiking is my go-to outdoor activity. It can burn an average of 500 calories per hour, doesn’t add stress to your joins (unlike concrete or asphalt), can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, help prevent cancer (more on this in a bit), and has been shown to make you happier!

Good for the Body

Trekking is a form of aerobic exercise that works out all parts of your body, including your legs, knees, ankles, arms, hips, gluteus maximus, abs, shoulders and neck. And since you’re not hitting concrete, it’s easier on your joints and ligaments.

Your cholesterol levels and blood pressure also decrease. Studies have shown that your blood pressure can lower anywhere between four to ten points. If you are at high risk of heart disease, diabetes and strokes, then hiking can reduce those dangers as well.

And cancer? Research shows that hiking for a long period of time may improve the antioxidative capacity, which helps fight off disease, in oncological patients.

We can’t forget about the good old natural vitamin D from the sun! Just make sure that you bring plenty of water, sunscreen and protective clothing to keep yourself safe from harmful sun rays. My favorite bottle to hike with is a S’well Bottle, which keeps water cold for hours, and it’s easy to carry with you while you hike. I like to wear a protective shirt these days because the sun is SO strong in Los Angeles. Carve Designs has sun shirts with UPF 50+ that are chic, light and versatile. I just ordered two new sun shirts, and they have a great sale too. Don’t forget to cover up, friends!

Great for the Mind

Hiking doesn’t only benefit you physically but mentally as well. Research shows how hiking can be therapeutic, especially for those who are depressed or feeling hopeless. It gives you that extra boost of energy and freedom that you can’t get from a gym or city.

Being around flora and fauna also makes you feel serene. There’s something about mother nature and the way it grounds you, especially if you live in an area that’s full of pollution and noise. Taking yourself out of all the hustle and bustle will allow you to recoup, regenerate and relieve stress.

It’s always fun to go solo or even with a friend! Choose your favorite trail or find a new one. The ones I usually hike in the Los Angeles area are Paseo Miramar, Trippet Ranch in Malibu, and Will Rogers Park. All of these places offer great trails and spectacular views. So grab your partner, or your self, and see you on the trails!


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