The Benefits Of Hiking
We all know that hiking is good for us. Humans have explored the great outdoors for centuries, and we’ve proven that being outside is good for the body and the soul. So what are some of the specific benefits that come with hiking? Take a look at some of our favorite reasons to get out of the house and a few of the top benefits of hiking!
1. Good Exercise
Hiking is excellent cardiovascular exercise. In fact, some would call it the ultimate cardio workout! Hiking builds up strength in your legs, the muscles in your hips, and depending on the trail you decide to take, you could also be working on your arms and your core. Get your heart rate up on a hike; extra points if you’ve chosen one that has you going uphill! There is so much satisfaction that comes with getting a good workout in, and even better if you can revel in the beauty of nature around you.
2. Lower Stress Levels
What increases when you get a good workout in? Endorphins. Endorphins are known for reducing levels of pain, stress and anxiety, so if you’ve found that you’re experiencing higher levels of stress lately, consider finding some local hiking trails. Hiking is a fantastic way to clear your mind and better manage your stress levels.
3. Better Relationships
Everything is more fun when you’re doing it with someone else, including hiking. Find a buddy or a group of friends to hike with, and enjoy the social benefits! Getting out in nature and away from our cell phones and technology gives us the ability to better connect with fellow humans. So leave your phones and devices in the car while and enjoy this time to connect with friends, family, and nature uninterrupted.
4. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Regularly exercising can lower your risk of heart disease, and since hiking is a cardio workout, hitting the trail on the regular can benefit your heart. If your goal is to stay heart-healthy, hiking is a wonderful option to stay active and keep your body working the way it’s supposed to.
5. Improve Bone Density
Walking has been proven to be a weight-bearing exercise, with benefits ranging from improved equilibrium to increased muscle strength. Another benefit? Improved bone density. While many focus on developing their muscles through exercise, hiking regularly is also a great way to achieve greater bone mass.
6. Help Your Anxiety
Feeling anxious? Escaping to nature could be just the thing to clear your mind and help you feel more in control—one of the major psychological benefits of hiking. Exercise is good for your brain, both increasing blood flow to your brain as well as releasing endorphins, as mentioned earlier. So if your anxiety is starting to get the best of you, consider spending time hiking a local trail.
7. Better Quality of Sleep
Along with the ability to lower your stress levels and improve your anxiety, hiking can also do wonders for your sleep. Often, if you’re struggling to sleep, it’s because your stress levels are too high and your brain is working overtime. Hiking helps your body respond more positively to stress, helping you feel more relaxed and sleep better at night. Plus, you’ve been pushing your body to the limit and getting in a good workout every day, you’re naturally more tired and ready for a good night’s sleep.
8. Lower Risk of Obesity in Children
Establishing an active lifestyle is best at an early age. Hiking can lower the risk of obesity in children and is a fun way to get them out in nature. Do some research on which hikes and trails are suitable for children and plan a fun day out together! Hiking is also a wonderful opportunity to disconnect from technology and really connect with your family. Make sure to pack some snacks and plenty of water in your backpack to help everyone last through the day!
9. Solve the World’s Problems
Is there a personal struggle that’s wearing on your mind? A squabble between you and a loved one? A challenge at work? Stepping away from everything and going on a hike can be just the thing to clear your mind and come up with solutions. Bring along a pad of paper and pen or your phone so that you can take notes or make voice memos to remember the ideas you have on your adventure. You never know when genius will strike!
10. Improve Overall Happiness
All of this combined tells us that hiking is simply good for the soul, and it’s been proven that hiking can improve your overall happiness, too! Between releasing endorphins, improving stress and anxiety, giving you a better night’s sleep, and bettering your overall health, how can you not be happier when hiking is a part of your life? Start researching hikes near you and get out there. We’ll see you on the trail!