You may be tempted to wonder, “Is it worth taking your kids hiking?”. The answer, most definitely, is Yes!
With so much digital entertainment available, children nowadays would rather stay indoors all day long than go outside & play. But staying indoors can fuel insomnia, anxiety, and depression. So, we all need to get out once in a while, move our bodies and enjoy some fresh air. It’s important to view the world away from the city and pollution. Plus, spending time outside and being active has repeatedly been proven beneficial to both kids and adults alike. And one of the best ways to expose your kids to the great outdoors is to take them on a hike. It won’t be easy at first. But the long-term benefits of hiking with children are sure worth the effort.
Here we look at 5 amazing benefits of hiking with children:
1. Provides quality family time
Hiking is one of the best ways to spend quality time with your children. Every family deserves time off from modern-day conveniences. On the trail, you can disconnect with technology and really get to know your kids. Doing so will make the bond between you and your child strong. You can create an array of positive memories that you’ll treasure for a lifetime. When your children grow up, they will appreciate the memories spent in the outdoors with you. So, go out often and have meaningful conversations with your kids in the stillness of nature.
2. Opportunity to connect with nature
Nature is all around us. And introducing love of nature to children at a very young age is very important. Taking children on a hike lets them develop a lifelong relationship with nature. It is a chance for kids to flourish and explore natural surroundings they aren’t familiar with. They get to escape the endless mirage of concrete buildings and witness how beautiful it actually is to be outside. Nothing makes you appreciate something more than experiencing it firsthand. Your kids may even grow up to appreciate and safeguard their environment instead of polluting it.
One of the major benefits of hiking with children is that it’s a good exercise for their body. It can help both you and your children stay fit and healthy. Young and old, we all need to get outdoors and get some exercise done. There are so many health benefits to hiking. A light hike can improve cardio-respiratory fitness. This way children will be able to have fun, and burn some calories at the same time. Being in the fresh air and sunshine also helps to prevent medical conditions such as type two diabetes, myopia, and high blood pressure. But make sure to have many breaks along the way.
4. Hiking can be educational
Kids are sure to see and get curious about lots of things while hiking. They will be able to hear, smell, see and feel things they didn’t know existed. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of time to explain everything. You can teach them the importance of the environment and some basic survival skills. It’s also a great time to practice the principles of ‘leave no trace’. Kids learn best through experience. So, allow them to pursue their interests and explore the trail in their own pace.
5. Exposure to wildlife
Most parents prefer taking their kids to the zoo instead of going on a hike to see wild animals & birds. But often times, it’s way more exciting to see a deer or a wild bunny in their natural habitat than in caged cells. Hiking trails often allow you to encounter many birds and insects that your children would otherwise see only in books or online. It’s important for children to learn about the difference between wild and captive animals. And there is no better way to do that than by taking them outdoors. Plus, children who grow up hiking gain an appreciation for wilderness as they become older.
If you don’t want your kids to stay glued to the TV and smartphones all the time, you should set aside time for outdoor trips. It will greatly benefit both you and your children.