7 Reasons Why Hiking is Healthy For Your Mind and Body
Green lush trees, fresh peppermint air, dazzling blue sky…. Imagine this scenery as you trudge on the hilly path of Mount Whitney. Simply breath-taking right?
Hiking is a great activity for people who are looking to get some time away from the busy and noisy life in the city. Aside from getting your much needed alone time, hiking has also many health benefits.
1. Hiking Increases Your Energy
Feeling sluggish after a whole week of work? Take a vacation out in the woods. Hiking is a moderate aerobic activity that is good for your muscles, lungs and body tissues. When you hike, you give your body extra oxygen that fuels your muscles and strengthens various organs in your body. It also increases your alertness, stamina and overall energy level.
2. Hiking Builds Muscle Strength
More than just abs and bulking biceps, fit people also need to have strong muscles. So if you’re not much into lifting and want to lose weight – hiking is the best option for you. Hiking can equal to an hour of working out your legs, thighs and hip muscles. It’s not surprising that regular hikers are much stronger than those who workout in the gym. Hiking not only targets muscles but also flexes joints, strengthens bones and reduces possible risk of osteoarthritis.
3. Hiking Boosts Your Mood
One of the untold benefits of hiking is its ability to uplift mood and reduce depression. Closeness to nature is known to have connection with happiness and feeling of calmness. This is base on the theory that we – living things have a natural bond with nature, we are made out of the same substance in nature, more than the man-made technology we are now using in our daily life.
4. Hiking Gives You Vitamin D
Hiking early in the morning will get you a good amount of sunlight exposure. Vitamin D prevents you from getting weak bones, and helps you avoid conditions such as rickets, hyperparathyroidism and other disease that make bones brittle as you age. It also regulates the minerals in your body such as phosphorous and calcium.Hiking Boosts Your Brain Power
5. Hiking Boosts Your Brain Power
Does being in nature affect our cognitions? Based on the Attention Restoration Theory, exposure to nature can replenish one’s executive functions. This makes hikers incredibly creative people. According to this study, immersion in nature, even just for a few days has positive effects on creativity and problem solving tasks. This makes hiking an ideal activity for exercising your brain.
6. Hiking Burns Calories
An hour on the trail can burn up to 500 calories, so if you hike for more than 2 hours you’ll be burning more than 1000 calories of your dietary fats. Now that’s more than just a total body workout. Hiking exercises your body in different angles and measures better than when you work out in the gym. The treadmill doesn’t offer you a chance to flex your ankles, or to jump against obstacles, or to simply ran up and down a slope.
7. Hiking Controls Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
You heard that right. A hike through the trails decreases blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. This will reduce your risks of suffering from heart disease, diabetes and stroke. It also improves your glucose tolerance and your overall cardiovascular health.
With our busy schedules and jobs, there is often no time to think about our health. However, if we don’t take action now and take effective measures to become healthier – we’d suffer from a lot of diseases in our old age. Hiking provides a lot of health benefits that is good for your mind and body. But don’t forget that the best part of hiking is the experience. Hiking is a great activity best experienced with your friends and family.