Take A Hike!
Whether that headline evokes a pleasant or unpleasant response depends, in part, on your hiking and life experiences. It, also, depends on what you thought I meant. The phrase means different things depending on the tone of voice used, the topic of conversation and the person saying it. It may mean to go on a hike or go take a walk. Using the phrase as slang, it means to leave, go away, beat it or get outta here! If you heard it that way, you probably thought I was being rude.
If you could hear my tone, you’d hear an encouraging invitation to go find a local trail, get some exercise, enjoy nature and see something new. The many benefits of hiking are outlined in this WebMD article. It’s good for your heart, mind, and body. Hiking with friends or family provides social interaction, creates connection and makes memories. There’s some indication it increases creativity.
I recently hiked in Jacobsburg State Park. It’s one of Pennsylvania’s 121 State Parks. My friend, Deb and I had a great hike, burned calories, saw beautiful views like the one pictured above, and heard the sounds of nature: streams of running water, birds chirping, and bees buzzing. We, also, caught up on what’s been happening in each other’s lives. An extra mile walked at a nearby wildflower field pictured below was a bonus experience thanks to a park visitor who told us about it. Two hours of hiking plus drive time created an enjoyable summer outing and a great memory. We planned it, scheduled it, executed it. Done. One item on the summer bucket list accomplished.
If you haven’t hiked before, consider your physical abilities, interests, and time constraints as you plan if, where and when to walk or hike. Always consult your physician before undertaking any physical activity especially if you have a health condition. Use wisdom and plan for safety, the weather and the unexpected. On a hike many years ago, we didn’t retrieve my sister’s glasses when they fell in a hole. It wasn’t the wise thing to do. There could have been snakes in the hole and the sun glasses weren’t worth a snake bite.
If you’re allergic to bees, don’t wear perfume or brightly colored floral print clothes when out hiking. Do carry your epinephrine or other medical supplies you might need. Wear proper footwear, carry snacks for fuel and water for hydration. Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays with a hat and lightweight long sleeved clothing or sunscreen. Insect repellant is a must for me. Put valuables in a securely closed pocket or backpack. You don’t want to lose your cell phone or keys down a hole! If it’s your first hike, go with someone who has hiked before. Planning well prepares you to have the best excursion possible.
Let me know if you have a favorite hiking trail. I’m planning a September hike with friends. This time, blueberry and lime-flavored water will serve as my hydration.
Go! Take a hike!
Move forward based upon your abilities and interests. Maybe I’ll see you on one of the trails.
Savor the season. Make memories. Fill your bucket to the brim!