Being in the middle of nature to nourish body and soul e don’t worry too much about sports performance. The philosophy of Emily Thornton e Lucy Hirdwhich on the TikTok account Soft Girls Who Hike tell of their explorations in Great Britain, was born from the idea that hiking doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s what the soft hiking.
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What is soft hiking?
The goal of walking is not to burn a certain amount of calories or achieve any particular physical goals, but to enjoy the experience of exercise in the open air. The two girls who started the soft hiking phenomenon, in an explanatory video of the activity, specify that «it is important to take breaks to eat and observe the surroundings. Taking the time to go off track and be present in the moment, without having to rush.”
The soft approach refers not so much to the exercise itself, but to being “soft” and kind to themselveslearning to listen to the needs of the body and giving the prioritize your well-being. The key concept is that you don’t have to feel inadequate if you fail to reach a peak or pass a certain limit.
Differences between hiking, trekking and hiking
Hiking e trekking define two different approaches to walking. The first is used to indicate an activity that takes place over a few hours or at most a day and which is more oriented towards fitness. While the trek is divided into long routes, usually on mountain roads, which can also last for several days.
In Italy there are associations such as the Italian Alpine Club which classify the different degrees of difficulty in the mountains to distinguish the effort required from the itineraries. They range from the tourist ones (easier), to those dedicated to more experienced hikers. Going for a walk to explore the area, with mainly cultural or leisure purposes, is commonly defined by us hiking.
While not a new activity, the soft hiking phenomenon has given prominence a light way of experiencing excursions physically, but above all, mentally. Encourage people to movereminding him that for appreciate the natural beauty of the place where they go, even just a few hours are enough.
Benefits of walking in nature
Reduces stress and relieves anxiety. Stimulates creativity, clear and calm your mind. Help the concentration. Lower cortisol e increases serotonin (the hormone of happiness). Improve the cardiovascular health and the muscle strength.
Regardless of the intensity of the walk, everyone can benefit from movement in contact with nature.
Soft hiking: some tips to get started
Plan your exit and start gradually with courses suited to your preparation. Check the forecast. wear thesuitable clothing (also based on the season) such as hiking shoes, waterproof jacket, hat, comfortable and breathable clothes. Bring along one backpack with the necessary, for example: first aid kit, SPF cream, water and snacks, insect repellent, portable battery to charge the phone, flashlight, emergency whistle. Have environmental care without dirtying or leaving traces during the journey.
Respect your limitsmake stops and enjoy the scenery.
Go out with friends of other people or with organized groups. Tell someone your itinerary when you go out alone. Equip yourself with one topographic map or install agps navigation apps to trace the route.