I can’t count how many times I have contemplated taking up exploring more of the outdoors. If I have to be honest, the thought of figuring out how I would hike with a two-year-old scared me even more! Though the excuses were piling up and I decided that this is the year we do it. So in case if you were wondering, I am here to convince you why these 5 reasons will make you want to do the same.

It’s a great way to exercise.

This is an obvious answer, but hiking is a great way to get some exercise for yourself and your children. We live in a world where technology dominates our youth and hiking is an option to get them outside. A light hike or even for older children, a safe and long hike can teach them to take care of their body and health. Aside from it being beneficial towards their cardiovascular health, this type of exercise can help them develop with their balance and agility. Make sure to keep children hydrated as often as you can. Especially in the South Texas region where obesity dominates, hiking will help in keeping our children healthy.

Leave no trace principle.

If you haven’t heard of this term before, then you should research the rules of the “leave no trace” principle. Kids who are exposed to this principle learn an early responsibility of the outdoors. This is extremely important, because we teach kids that there are consequences to litter or any damage done to the animals and surroundings. Wildlife doesn’t only teach responsibilities to the outdoors when hiking, but can also open their eyes to the general outside. I recently started teaching my daughter the ‘clean up’ song when picking up her toys or throwing trash away; this can teach them to be respectful when hiking.

It’s a way to gain confidence.

Kids are curious people, even more curious than adults. This is probably the main reason I wanted to start hiking with my daughter, because at 2 she is the most curious and active person I’ve ever met. Hiking with kids will give them the confidence they need in everyday life. This helps them gain the curiosity of exploring, leading, and making decisions. Whether that’s deciding which route you should take next or eyeing the beauty in wilderness. The most exciting part in all of this is seeing them grow up and apply skills they learn from daycare or school.

A way to tackle mental health.

As we know, children are at risk of succumbing to depression and anxiety early on. Hiking with kids will improve your mood by decreasing both of these and encourage them to move forward. I know my daughter is still too young to understand what this is, but if there is a way that can help her be happy and reduce stress, I’m all for it. Not only does hiking do this, but any type of exercise in the outdoors with your kids will help them.

Spend more time with the family.

Y’all this is my favorite and final reason to hike with kids, I get to bond and cherish every moment with them. For a long time, I had wanted to hike on my own, but every since becoming a mother, things hit differently. After spending all week at work, all I want to do is spend time with my family. Hiking is going to be the thing I do with my family, because it not only helps you bond, but you increase happiness. You can continue researching this, but many outlets will point you that it can also help you live a long life.

I know that every family is different and you will need to find the activity that is best for yours. These 5 reasons to take up hiking with kids are positive and will always point to uniting the family. As I mentioned, there are many beneficial reasons why hiking will keep you and your kids healthy. All you have to do now is just start. So, good luck!