I have been on a mission to be healthy. My mission started just about a year ago and since then I have lost about 30 pounds and I feel great! I am now more focused on a healthy life rather than the numbers on the scale. I also want to share this healthy lifestyle with my children so that it is ingrained into them to love living healthy, rather than dreading exercise. I have no desire to leave my children at a daycare or sitter while I hit the gym, I want them to be a part of it.
One way we have found to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into our family is by hiking. We take family hikes often (we try for 2 weekends per month). This is a mostly free and awesome way to get a great workout, experience new places and have fun with the entire family! We love to pack a healthy lunch (nuts, apples and PB, sandwiches for the kids) and head out for the day.
We live in Oregon and have what I was surprised to find to be an endless supply of hiking trails near us. We are making an attempt to try them all. Here are my favorite three so far:
Drift Creek Falls
I absolutely loved this Drift Creek Falls hike. There were some moderately difficult parts of this trail, but it was still easy enough for our children to go on the full hike with us. They are 6 and 10. This hike was about 3 miles and took us about 2.5 hours in and back (that was counting the time we took to stop and have lunch) and was absolutely worth the views! These falls were amazing and I just fell in love with the suspension bridge that you have to cross.
Silver Creek Falls
Silver Falls State Park offers 25+ miles of hiking and if you are a waterfall enthusiast, you will not be disappointed. There are 10 falls along the complete trail. There are many routes you can take to make this hike as long or as short as you want. We went to Silver Falls twice last summer doing separate trails each time and we will definitely be going back this year!
There is even a great swimming hole for the kiddos (or adults) to cool off in at the end of the hike!
(our kids cooling off after a long hike at Silver Creek Falls)
(Our kiddos posing at just one of the neat sights at Peavy Arboretum)
No grand waterfalls here, just lots and lots of trails featuring beautiful plants, trees and more! We just finished our third hike at Peavy Arboretum this last weekend and we still have so many new trails to hit! It is gorgeous and perfect for all levels of hikers. Some of the trails are finished and maintained forest roads, while others are more obscure and difficult.
To make things even better this trail happens to be less than a 30 minute drive from my house, which I love!
This year's hiking trips have just recently started for us, but at the end of last summer my legs were in great shape and I was in pretty good shape. I know that hiking had a lot to do with that. The calories burned during hiking is higher than your typical workout too. A 150 pound person who hikes with a backpack for 90 minutes will burn over 750 calories!
Another awesome benefit to hiking is the low cost! Besides the cost of gas and snacks we had to pay only $5 to park at two of the trails (Silver Creek Falls and Drift Creek Falls)! Compare that to the cost of a gym membership and besides the lower cost, you will likely get a better workout and a much better experience!