This most basic form of outdoor recreation is equal parts workout and therapy, and good for all ages: It boosts cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and clears the head. What the gym and its calibrated machinery can’t promise — inspiring views and unpredictable physical challenges — hiking has in spades.
Why We Hike
When Nanette Bercu, 38, creative director at Paul Mitchell, and her husband, Dan, pile their sons Odin, 8, and Hunter, 6 (all pictured here), into the car for their weekly hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, they’re sometimes met with groans. “But an hour into the hike, the kids are totally engrossed,” she says. “By the time we’re done, we’re all a little more alive than when we started.”