How to make the most of your hike

October 19, 2020 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

What could be better than hiking on a crisp fall day? Just being outside in the fresh air surrounded by the colors of the season makes hiking a perfect activity for this time of year.

But you can take your hike one step further — whether you’re hiking solo, with a companion or with a group. The following are some ways to make the most of your hike (and keep kids engaged, too!):

  1. Take photos. Bring a camera or use your phone camera to take pictures. Take scenic shots of the trees or a brook, or close-ups of a plant or flower. Print the photos when you get home and make a collage.


  2. Chronicle your hike. Bring a journal or sketchbook and chronicle your hike through words or pictures during breaks. Even better, join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge and share your hiking photos and experiences with others on Instagram or Facebook.


  3. Use an app. There are many hiking and fitness apps that can track your location and progress, including speed, distance and calories burned. Try apps like AllTrails, MapMyHike, Hiking Project, Gaia GPS, Komoot or Geocaching (a global treasure hunt).


  4. Name what you see.  Name different things you see along your hike, such as wildlife, birds, flowers, trees, bugs, etc. Bring binoculars and a book to help you identify these things. Apps like iNaturalist use image recognition technology to identify the plants/animals you spot.


  5. Create roles. This can help keep kids engaged. Let your kids take turns leading the hike. Put someone in charge of taking pictures, choosing a game to play and/or picking up litter along the way (remember to bring some compostable trash bags and washable gloves).


  6. Relax in nature. Find a quiet spot and practice mindful meditation. Engage your five senses. Listen to the birds singing or the breeze through the trees. Gaze at the greens of the trees. Breathe in the fresh air. Learn how nature can make you healthier.


  7. Establish rewards. Offer a reward, like a stamp or a sticker for kids, when you reach landmarks along the hiking trail. At the end of the hike, plan for the whole group to do something special, like get hot chocolate or dessert.

Want to move more? Spend time outdoors? Breathe in some fresh air? Join us on an 8-week journey to explore the outdoors and tackle fun, weekly challenges to get your whole family moving! Learn more about the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge.

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