We love spring. It’s a time of rebirth, of action after a winter, for many, of inactivity. Warming temperatures and a natural world come back to life put us in a mind to do the same.
One way to make that happen? Become a hiker.
OK, maybe you have hiked. Maybe a friend convinced you to go for a short hike last year. Maybe you even did a New Year’s Day hike. We’re not talking about sampling the product. We’re talking about becoming an avid, hiking-boot-owning, guide-book-wielding, join-the-American-Hiking-Society hiker. A bonafide hiker.
Yeah, I dunno. Maybe …
On the fence? Well, let’s consider the myriad of benefits derived from hiking regularly, among them:
- Hiking reduces your chances of heart disease.
- Hiking on a regular basis can lower blood pressure by 4 to 10 points.
- A frequent walk in the woods can help reduce your chances of getting diabetes. If you already have the disease, hiking, combined with proper diet, can reduce or even eliminate the need for insulin therapy.
- As a weight-bearing exercise, hiking can help stave off osteoporosis.
- A regular exercise program centered around hiking, coupled with a sound diet, can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Depending upon your pace and other factors, you can burn up to 500 calories per hour hiking.
Those are just some. You can read about more here.
But probably the best health benefit of taking a walk in the woods? It clears your head.
When we started our hiking program in 2013, our goal was to give a physical outlet to people stuck at work all week, a chance to manage all of the above. To our surprise, we found that the vast majority of participants were there to simply zone out for a couple of hours. In the nine years since, we’ve found that the majority of our hikers are motivated by the mental benefits of hiking, of being able to detach for a while and let the mind loose to wander. The physical rewards — the weight loss, the improved cardiovascular health, the building of stronger bones — was gravy.
What we’ve also discovered is that the main thing holding folks back from getting involved was fear of the unknown. What do I wear for a hike? What should I take with me? Where should I even go? And will there be bears?
Which is why we started a program aimed at beginners that not only answers these questions, but builds the novice into a competent, confident hiker.
Our GetHiking! Series for the Aspiring Hiker starts with an introductory half-hour Zoom session designed to address basic concerns —clothes, shoes, bears — before the first hike. Then, over the course of the 10-week program we:
- Take weekly hikes at different venues designed to introduce you to the local hiking options and also to build your stamina: we start with a 2.5-mile hike and build up to 5 miles.
- Send a weekly enewsletter with tips, resources, gear recommendations, and a guide for that week’s hike
- Send you a Guide to 25 Triangle Trails to introduce you to even more trails
- Give you a copy of “Let’s GetHiking! A Quick and Comprehensive Guide for the Aspiring Hiker (Second Edition),” a 109-page guide with everything an aspiring hiker needs to know.
Best of all, you can get started right away: our next 10-week session starts Wednesday, March 23, at 6 p.m. and runs every Wednesday evening through May 18.
Spring officially begins Sunday. Make the most of it by becoming a hiker!
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GetHiking! Spring 2022 Series for the Aspiring Hiker
Learn more about our hiking program for beginners and sign up to join us by going here for individual hikers, here for couples and families. Starts Wednesday, March 23 and runs through Wednesday, May 18.
GetHiking! Spring 2022 Sunday Afternoon Hike Series
Already a hiker, but looking for a structured program to help you make the most of the spring hiking season? Join our GetHiking! Spring 2022 Sunday Afternoon Hike Series, with 10 weekly hikes at 1 p.m., each at different venues. Learn more and sign up to join us by going here for individual hikers, here for couples and families. Starts Sunday, March 20 and runs through Sunday, May 22.