Why and Where You Should Hike in Ireland

There has been a great deal said in the media recently regarding the dangers of sitting in front of a computer all day. What’s the best solution for this? Get outside! Hiking not only provides you with tremendous health benefits but it provides a mental rest too. Get back to the basics and go for a hike this week.

Why Hike?

1. Boost Your Mood: Research shows that hiking has a positive impact by helping with the symptoms of stress and anxiety. It may even inspire those suffering from it to lead a more active lifestyle, as after you’ve completed the hike, you will feel like you have achieved something more tangible rather than running on a treadmill for 30 minutes.

2. Calorie Burner: Just one hour of hiking can burn well over 500 calories, depending on the level of slope and the weight of the pack you’re carrying. Hiking up even a small hill will increase your heart right and burn extra calories.

3. Motivation: Hiking can boost your motivation for exercising on a regular basis. The hiking experience will be different every time, with new trials, different workouts, the landscape and the weather too!

4. Lowers Cancer Risk: Hiking helps decrease your chances of developing some cancers such as breast cancer and lung cancer. Just 30 minutes of aerobic activity (hiking, climbing, yoga, basketball) 3-5 times a week can lower your risk of breast cancer by 30 to 50%.

5. Helps with Insomnia: Trouble sleeping? Studies show that hiking can be a great form of exercise to promote sleep.

6. Vitamin D: By going hiking, you will be able to get your daily dose of vitamin D from the sun. However, with the weather at the moment, you may not see that benefit for a few months!

Where to Hike

1. The Wicklow Way 

Wicklow is known as the ‘Garden of Ireland’ and its luxurious valleys and impressive mountains will not disappoint.

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2. Carrauntoohil, Kerry

Ireland’s highest mountain in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains, Kerry. Climbing Carrauntoohil is a challenging day out. Jack Layden, MD of a hiking shop in Dublin, sums up Carrauntoohil, with one simple quote, “From a simple canal walk to Carrauntoohill, the walker is always rewarded.”

3. Coumshingaun Loop Walk, Comeragh Mountains, Waterford

Very popular for both hikers and climbers alike with some great rock climbs to try.

4. Doolin Cliff Walk, Cliffs of Moher, Clare 

Doolin Cliff Walk is a 20km coastal cliff path that leads you over the magnificent Cliffs of Moher.

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5. The Famine Walk, Killary Fjord, Connemara, County Galway

The Famine Trail is a two to three-hour hike along the shore of Ireland’s only Fjord. Don’t forget the hiking boots for this one!

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