The Benefits of Getting the Family Outdoors for a Hike

Spending time outdoors is important for the whole family. It gives everyone a chance to unplug from technology, get some fresh air, and enjoy some quality time together. Going for a family hike {randonnée familiale} is a great way to get the family outdoors and many benefits come along with it. Here are just a few of them.

Benefits of Hiking as a Family

1.    Boosts Metabolism and Digestion:

Walking is a great way to get the metabolism going and help with digestion. When we sit for long periods, our digestive system can become sluggish. Taking a brisk walk helps get things moving again, which is good for the whole body. We also tend to eat more mindfully when we’re outdoors, so hikes can be great for helping the entire family maintain a healthy weight.

2.    Strengthens Bones and Muscles:

Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise, which means it helps strengthen bones and muscles. This is especially beneficial for growing children whose bodies are still developing. According to the National Institutes of Health, weight-bearing exercises like hiking can also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

3.    Reduces stress and anxiety:

Being in nature can have a calming effect on the mind and body. A study done by Stanford University found that walks in nature reduce rumination, or negative self-talk, which is often linked to depression and anxiety disorders. Fresh air and sunshine are also natural mood boosters, so getting the family outdoors for a hike is a great way to improve everyone’s mental health.

Tips on How to Make Hiking a Family Affair

1.    Choose the right trail:

Not all hiking trails are created equal. When you’re hiking with young children, it’s important to choose a trail that is short and has minimal elevation gain. You also want to make sure there are plenty of interesting things to see along the way, such as streams, fields, and forests. This will help keep everyone’s attention focused on the hike and not on how far they have to go.

2.    Let everyone pack their backpack:

Kids love to feel like they’re in charge, so let them pack their backpacks with snacks and water. This will help them feel more invested in the hike and less likely to complain about being tired or hungry.

3.    Stop often to rest and explore:

Hiking can be tiring, especially for little ones. Be sure to stop often to rest and explore your surroundings. This will give everyone a chance to take a break and see something new.


There are so many benefits that come along with spending time outdoors as a family. From boosting metabolism and digestion to reducing stress and anxiety, there’s something in it for everyone. So lace up those hiking boots and hit the trails! Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for it.