How It Started: Hiking for Health and Happiness

Many of my friends and I just hit forty. While we didn’t seep into depression or experience any mid-life craziness after leaving our 30’s behind, many of us are experiencing our first “traditionally” older-age health issues such as elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, aches and pains, digestive issues, and more. We are overweight (some more than others), worn out from the daily grind, and are generally out-of-shape. I find this interesting, because representative of L.A., we are all of different ethnicities and nationalities and are all afflicted by the same issues. In the past, we tried to combat the Mommy Blues with Afternoon Coffee Time, Moms’ Night Out, Cocktail Night, Painting Parties or other such events. While these were (and still are!) fabulous for stress relief and mental health, they didn’t elevate our general health.

Each for their own reasons (from break-ups and blood sugar to obesity and allergies, each of my good friends started on their own quest for health. Interestingly, each friend individually sought out hiking as a means towards health. One Ladies’ Night Out at Din Tai Fung (side note: this is a MUST visit restaurant as it has the BEST dumplings this side of Asia…and actually, they are noted for the best in Taiwan too!), I decided to purchase each of my friends a gift: I purchased 5 different local hiking guides – 3 for my friends and 2 for me (I will write about the guides in another post)! Each guide featured various hiking areas of Los Angeles and each had its own spin on how to document and explain local hiking opportunities. Armed with our guides, we are on a mission to reclaim our health through hiking, exploration and friendship. Sometimes we go together and sometimes we go alone. Whether together or alone, it is my experience that time spent in nature fosters physical, mental and emotional health.

It is time to put your hiking boots on. Buy a guide for your area and hit the trails. If you happen to live near Pasadena, CA, AND are not in the best of shape, then keep reading as I will be documenting local hikes from an Out-of-Shape Mom’s perspective.

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