Why Right Now is the Best Time to Start Hiking

When I first discovered recreational hiking, I was working at a fulltime tech job, was a single parent of a toddler with few babysitters available, and my closest family was 1500 miles away.  Of necessity, most of my activities (outside of work) included the company of my Mini-Me, and hiking was no exception.

Hiking at Hanging Rock State Park with Peanut!

When she was old enough, we were able to visit a lot of State Parks, and go on unpaved trails with more varied terrain.  She loved the adventure, seeing new things, and being an intrepid explorer with her Mama! Before that, I would carry her in a backpack or push her in a stroller on paved trails.

Hiking Is Ideal for Busy People

Hiking was and still is an ideal activity for me because it is healthy, inexpensive, and something I could do with my child or on my own whenever I had some free time.  Unlike the local softball league, you don’t need to hang around waiting for the rest of the team to show up to get started – you just go when and where you want at your own pace for whatever time you have available.

You don’t need to wait until :

  • Your kids grow up,
  • You can afford special equipment, or
  • You are in amazing physical shape.

Just throw on your tennies, put the kid(s) in some sort of carrying or rolling device and go for it!   If you don’t have kids to wrangle, it’s even easier.

Hike Where You Live

Fortunately, I live in a place where a big beautiful forest is practically outside my front door, so I am able to spend less time in the car and more time on the trails – a big plus when hauling kids.

View down the river at Eno State Park.

But you don’t need a forest – any park with trails or paths will do.  Greenways and long stretches of sidewalk along neighborhood streets will work, too.  I have even walked laps around school running tracks if there was nothing else available.

Do some research and identify places where you could walk at least 3 miles without driving more than 15 minutes.  Be creative!

No time? Be a hiking opportunist:
  • Do you have a lunch hour at work and it’s gorgeous outside?  Ditch the pumps for some trail runners and walk a mile or two before you need to get back.
  • Do you arrive at the after school care pickup an hour before the deadline? Take a walk before picking up the kids while you can go at your own pace with your arms free.
  • Do you sit in rush hour traffic on the way home? Find a trail close to your workplace and hike instead of sitting in stop-and-crawl traffic. You may get home at almost the same time.

Whatever you do, do something.  Identify what you can do now, and do it.  Don’t wait for the “perfect” time:  Identify your opportunities – as small as they may be right now – and take them!

They say the longest journey begins with a single step, and that is literally true for every hike and your hiking journey.  Why not take that first step today?

Tell Me About Your Journey

I love being active hiking on my own, or with like-minded people – and I hope my posts will inspire you to give it a try, too!  Whether or not you have any kids to bring along, or any sort of ongoing health issues, hiking is a great way to simultaneously see the world and improve your own health.

Please leave comments below and let me know what opportunity you took to start hiking, and how it went for you.  If you have any other questions or comments please also leave them below and I will respond as quickly as I can.

I have been hiking for fun regularly for almost 20 years now, and have been leading hikes in a local hiking group since 2009, in local and regional parks.  I also take hiking trips all over the world, and will use my blog to share what I find out there – which might give you some ideas about where you could visit in your own travels.   For more about me, please see my About page:  http://idratherwalk.com/welcome-to-id-rather-walk/

Thanks for stopping by – see you next time!  LJ