Benefits of Taking a Walk as a Family
During recent years, the benefits of taking a walk as a family have been frequently discussed. But the busy life of both parents and their children often prevents families from spending time together, especially time being active.
If you want to connect with nature, build beautiful memories and get exercise for all of your family members, don’t miss out on the benefits of hiking.
What are family walking trails?
Walking trails, also called walking or hiking paths, are set up in places like national parks or other green areas. Taking a walk as a family on these trails helps bring you closer to nature while also doing a great physical activity.
This activity is completely safe. Unlike travelling through isolated places that may be difficult to traverse, walking routes are prepared for families and pedestrians. They include stone paths, signage, forest ranger security and citizen call boxes.
Practical advice for taking a walk as a family
One of the biggest advantages of taking a walk as a family is that it isn’t considered a competitive sport.
Therefore, the level of effort put into it is at the discretion of each individual family member. As a family, you can decide the duration of the walk and the type of trail you wish to travel.
In any case, certain considerations must be taken into account so that the activity is completely pleasant and the benefits are maximized.
Wear the right shoes
Our first piece of advice refers to your choice of footwear. Your feet will be the most involved when doing a walking trail.
Make sure none of your family members have foot problems such as calluses, blisters or ingrown toenails before starting.
Then, choose a comfortable sports shoe that is intended for walking. You can also choose hiking boots that keep your feet cool. They should allow ventilation inside the shoe while also providing safety and stability.
All family members must have their own thermos with fresh water. They can choose to carry their own in a small backpack along with a towel for wiping sweat, healthy snacks or fresh fruits, a pair of spare socks and a clean shirt in case the day is hot.
It’s important to use SPF 50 sunscreen for the face and body, which should be reapplied every hour. Also, consider wearing caps or hats.
“Taking a walk as a family will bring everyone closer to nature by walking on routes set up in national parks or other green areas.”
Benefits of taking a walk as a family
There are several benefits of taking a walk as a family. We’ll talk about each of them below.
This activity has many health advantages. Besides the fact that anyone can do it regardless of age or physical condition, it immediately combats a sedentary lifestyle, while improves the circulatory system.
In that sense, walking strengthens the heart and keeps blood pressure in optimal condition. It also tones the muscles in the lower part of the body, such as the quadriceps and glutes.
On the other hand, walking also helps burn calories and thus reduces obesity levels. And thanks to the pleasant feelings generated by being outdoors, it encourages the little ones to want to do exercise.
Going for a walk immediately relaxes the mind. Therefore, it improves mood and decreases stress levels.
In fact, walking helps reduce levels of cortisol, the hormone linked to stress. It also elevates serotonin, the hormone linked to pleasure and well-being.
On the other hand, practicing this activity as a family helps to elevate and consolidate emotional family bonds. In these moments, beautiful memories will be created that will last forever.
As a final recommendation, keep in mind that to carry out this activity, you must choose the walking trails recommended by rangers. Also, try to plan ahead to make sure the park remains open to families on the day you want to go.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Fernández, L. C., López, D. C., Leiva, F. L., Del Rosal, J. L. D. R., Ariza, F. O., & Caño, J. A. F. (2012). El senderismo una actividad física saludable para las personas mayores. EmásF: revista digital de educación física, (19), 8-17. https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/4122500.pdf
- Muñoz Mínguez, A. (2019). Beneficios psicológicos de las salidas escolares a espacios naturales próximos en educación física. https://uvadoc.uva.es/handle/10324/39634
- Espino Salamanca, O. (2017). El senderismo desde un enfoque interdisciplinar. https://uvadoc.uva.es/handle/10324/26413