Heading outdoors is widely known to help relieve stress, and is also ideal if you are feeling sluggish after having a full meal. That said, there is no denying that walking and trekking can enhance your well-being – and bonus, you can do it while social distancing! So pack your favorite walking sticks for hiking and reap these benefits:
According to the American Hiking Society, bodies produce adrenaline to cope with danger. This is regardless, whether the threat is actual or perceived. If one doesn’t release this adrenaline, it can eventually accumulate over time, causing anxiety and muscle tension.
Going on a hike is one of the best ways that you can release this stored adrenaline. Hiking is also a lot more accessible than running a marathon or going rock climbing. Hiking also releases endorphins, often called the body’s “happy hormones.” When that happens, it significantly improves mood.
Boost Mental Health
There is plenty of research that supports the fact that connecting with nature helps improve your overall health and well-being. You can watch the sunset from your garden or swim under a waterfall. Regardless, these brief experiences that allow us to soak and be amazed by nature make us feel a lot happier and less stressed.
In today’s world, stress and mental illness like anxiety and depression are part of many people’s everyday lives. Spending time with nature brings us back to the present, invoking a sense of calm and peace.
Improved Self Esteem
We don’t always enjoy doing physical labour or exercise, but we do feel good about ourselves afterward. And if you find a form of exercise you enjoy – like hiking, it can actually be a fun daily activity! By constantly challenging yourself, you’ll gain that sense of accomplishment, and this can help improve your self-esteem.
In fact, according to a 2010 study, a five-minute outdoor exercise helps you feel a lot more confident about yourself. Now, imagine how it would feel if you’re spending a day hiking outdoors on a trail. Hiking makes you feel stronger, confident, and ready to take on whatever the world will throw at you.
We may sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed by constantly trying to get our attention all the time. There are times where we need that space so that we can clear our minds – but it’s not always easy. Many people are caught up with everyday stress that can clutter their minds, making them feel overwhelmed or unsettled.
By hiking, you have the excuse to leave your everyday troubles, even just for a little while. After all, all you need to focus on is the trail. Without being constantly stimulated by everything, you can quickly clear your mind of what’s troubling you.
Enhanced Brain Power
When you hike, the blood flows to the brain, carrying oxygen and other essential nutrients. According to studies, this increased blood flow enhances connections from the neurons. It also impacts other parts of your brain in charge of cognitive function and memory. There is also research showing that adults who exercise frequently improve their memory.
But far too often, we always say that we’re too busy or too caught up to hike. That’s because we are caught up with chasing a deadline or crossing something off our to-do list. In those moments, remember that even getting a little bit of exercise helps us focus and improves our ability to process information, especially when you do it outdoors. As such, you can be extra productive at work in your daily life.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
One of the best things about regularly engaging with exercise makes our hearts more healthy.
Hiking doesn’t just aid in weight loss and improve one’s fitness. It’s also a great exercise to improve blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and other severe conditions.
In fact, data from the CDC showed that walking at least for an hour a day, five days a week, significantly decreases the risk of stroke. That’s because engaging in aerobic exercise strengthens the heart. Doing so also improves HDL levels, also known as good cholesterol.
You don’t need to go on a hike by yourself, you can join a group or ask your family or friends to come with you. Doing so allows you to build your social network around like-minded people. And while so many of us are navigating lockdowns or restrictions, exercising together is great way to socialise safely while we are on the move. Humans are wired to be social creatures, and looking for ways to interact with them improves your overall well-being.
Over to You
Hiking comes with plenty of health benefits, including the following:
- Reduced anxiety
- A boost to your mental health
- Improved self-esteem
- Clear mind
- Enhanced brain power
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Meaningful relationships
What’s great about this is that you do not have to shell out hundreds of dollars to reap these benefits. Instead, you can pack your hiking gear and go to the nearest trail you can visit. Enjoy!
Do you feel anxious or lethargic? Do you need a safe space to process everyday life? Here’s what you need to do: Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online now.