Going on a hike is more than getting from one place to another. Although the journey is part of the appeal, the benefits of hiking include so much more.
Where To Hike
Walking anywhere is good for your heart health. However, studies have shown that getting out in nature actually improves mental health. This is so true! I take walks in the city and also on trails through the woods at our cabin. There is a big difference between hearing traffic noises and the noise chirping of birds. In the quite of the woods, I find myself just thinking. I often come up with solutions to problems or creative ideas.
Have you ever found yourself in a funk? You may feel unmotivated at times or even a little depressed. To get yourself out of that funk, take a walk in the woods, along the beach, or up a mountain. I have had times where we’ll go up to our cabin and then I don’t really know what to do with myself. There are plenty of things to do but I can’t get motivated. The best solution for me has been to force myself outside and start walking the trails. It doesn’t take long and I begin to feel happier and motivated to do other things. The walk back to the cabin is often filled with more pep to my step!
The Health Benefits Of Hiking
Mental Health Benefits Of Hiking In Nature
A Happy Mindset – Connecting with nature has a way of bringing about calm and a sense of well being. Someone suffering from depression will find some relief from walking in nature.
Creativity and Problem Solving – Without all of the distractions of our normal environments. time spent in nature clears our brains. When the brain is clear, you will be amazed at what creative and helpful thoughts will pop into your head!
Help for those with ADHD – My son often felt that taking a walk in the woods helped with his ADD. This is backed up by research showing how physical exercise in a non-distracting environment helps with focus.
Physical Benefits Of Hiking
Better Heart Health – The physical aspect of hiking helps with circulation and blood pressure.
Strengthen Body – The act of walking strengthens the core and leg muscles and also adds to bone density.
Weight Loss – Walking burns calories which in turn leads to weight loss. The longer and more rugged the hike, the more calories burned.
Improved Balance – Since walking builds strength in your core and legs, this also helps to improve balance.
Start Walking Now!
With all of the health benefits of hiking, it seems like a good activity to start and keep up with. Take time to notice the beautiful nature around you and maybe collect things like twigs and branches for use in projects or home decor. I know that as I start walking and taking in the views of nature, I get inspired to collect some things for my creativity. My latest journey led me to collect small branches for some baby shower centerpieces. Stay tuned for the upcoming post on that project!