10 reasons to take a walk in the woods and start forest hiking
Ready to for a walk in the woods? Here are 10 really good reasons to start forest hiking that benefit both your body and your brain.
Forest hiking is a fantastic outdoor activity that’s good for your body and brain. Here we look at 10 reasons to pop on your walking boots and start hiking in the forest. We also share how, through EcoTree, you can help protect the vital forests that remain on our planet. They are becoming fewer and smaller all the time, so now is the moment to take action.
1. Forest hiking is great exercise
Inactivity is a big problem in our society. Many of us sit for long periods of time and despite the occasional leg stretch, it’s not good for our health. Hiking in the forest is a brilliant way to get moving and do some exercise in a natural environment. Burn some energy, get that heart rate up and help your body feel good in the great outdoors.
2. Calm environments can reduce stress
You might assume physical activity will make you feel more tired. And while that might be the case as you embark on your forest walk, the exercise will give you more energy once you have completed the hike. When we are physically active, the hormones that cause stress decrease, which makes us calmer. And of course, the forest is a quiet and peaceful place that takes us away from those everyday worries.
3. Walking in the woods improves your mood
There’s nothing quite like walking in the woods to get the blood flowing. But not only does forest hiking have a good effect on your physical health, it can also put you in a better mood. As you walk, your body creates endorphins that may have a positive effect on how you feel and reduce anxiety.
4. Learn about nature and why it is important
The forest is full of wonder and there is much to learn. On a forest hike, you’ll discover plants and animals in their natural environment, learn all about the local ecology and see first-hand how important it is to take care of nature. Children also love to learn in the forest and can also see the benefits of biodiversity and sustainability. If we want our woodland walks in the future, we need to take care of our forests now.
5. Forest hiking is an activity for the whole family
You might enjoy going out into the woods to hike and get some time on your own, but it’s a fantastic family activity too. Choose how far you want to walk and how tough the route might be for the kids, then set off on an adventure together. You don’t even need lots of equipment – just a pair of shoes you’re happy to get muddy and a coat in case it rains.
6. Get away from the city and the screens
Many of us live in cities and towns where we can feel overwhelmed by all the traffic and… concrete! Modern life means most of us are glued to our phones and other technology throughout the day too. But head for a hike in the woods and all that will soon fade away. It’s the place to get the break you need. Put your phone in Airplane mode and enjoy the silence. Absorb the colour and tranquility that you can only find in the forest.
7. Try something new and challenging
If you are new to forest hiking, it can be an exciting, challenging activity. It can be eye-opening and even lead to a new way of looking at the world. That’s why so many people find forest hikes and the calm forest environment so exciting to explore. When it gets difficult – because of bad weather, pesky insects or even getting lost – try and embrace the challenge. It’s all character building stuff!
8. We humans are built to walk
At work and at home, so many of us are fixed to our chairs for hours on end, every single day. But we are built for walking! Our bodies are designed to move, not to spend our time in chairs, so the forest gives us the perfect excuse to do exactly what we’re meant to do – be active. Once you start walking, your body is quick to adapt and soon works out what’s going on – hey, we’re walking again! – which feels fantastic and makes your forest hiking easier.
9. Explore new places and spaces
There is more than 1.4 million hectares of forest land in the UK, which means there should always be plenty of trees not too far away. Start hiking in your local woodlands and then start to explore more places further afield, such as those in national parks or by close to the coast. Forest hiking can be as adventurous as you want it to be – there is so much to discover!
10. Find new ways to go on holiday and travel
You can find incredible forests to hike in all over the world and walking trips make a great holiday. But there is the issue of getting there and the impact travel has on the planet’s climate. If you take an interest in nature, you can use a hiking trip abroad to try a more environmentally friendly mode of transport. Or perhaps you’re up for the challenge of a cycling adventure that includes a ride through the forests. Why not try one of our carbon calculators to learn more about your footprint?
Help us protect forests and capture carbon
Being able to walk in the forest and enjoy its rich environment is something many of us take for granted. Unfortunately, the world’s forests are decreasing in most places. If we want future generations to be able to walk in the forest, like we can now, we need to make an effort to preserve it.
At EcoTree, we make it easy for you to own trees in our forests. Buying our trees helps us preserve and protect the forests, including the biodiverse animals and plants that live there. Your tree is a carbon sink too, which means you’re working with us to fight climate change.