Claiming that exercise is boring is an altogether too-easy excuse for avoiding getting into shape. However, we all know how necessary being healthy is. The trick is to find a new and fun way to exercise. In doing so, you will enjoy working out and want to participate in the activity. Unsure if anything like that exists for you? Consider hiking. It’s a wonderful way to improve your mental, physical, and emotional health. Interested? Here are some more details.
Hiking for Mental Health
Frequently, people who have been leading unhealthy lifestyles are simply caught in the sedentary life that is the modern business world. Sitting in an office all day, coming home exhausted, and tuning into your phone and the television for the remainder of the day is a common daily routine. This is not only bad for your physical health; it is also bad for your mental health. Taking a walk in nature gives you the opportunity to disconnect from your daily bustle and escape the stresses of the city. A hike brings you into clean air and helps you clear your mind; you are presented with new forms of mental stimulation that come from the abundant flora and fauna of a forest. In part for these reasons, hiking is proven to reduce depression and stress rates.
Hiking for Emotional Health
On a basic emotional level, hiking is good for people because it is such a natural action. It is easy to do and truly integral to the human experience. In addition to this, a hike in the woods involves the basic connection with nature, something that is often lost in modern life. This is why a long hike increases a person’s general well being and can improve confidence and relaxation. Emotional health is, of course, strongly tied into mental health, and, as was already said, depression rates lower in people who enjoy hikes. Additionally, sleep quality improves.
Hiking for Physical Health
While hiking lets you take your exercise away from your gym or the sidewalks you have to see everyday, it is still a way of working out. Like any form of aerobic exercise, hiking has an astounding amount of benefits for your physical health. These include weight management, lowered risk of heart disease, and improved cardiorespiratory fitness. Additionally, hiking is a low-impact activity, so it’s a great choice for arthritic people, but it is also weight bearing, so it helps combat osteoporosis. For people with Type 2 Diabetes, hiking can lower the need for insulin. Another great thing is the sunshine: Vitamin D plays a huge role in our bone health.
Liz Childers, a blogger on many topics, loves to pitch her camping tent after a long hike and camp out in the woods. If hiking isn’t quite your thing, consider packing a picnic basket and rewarding yourself with a delicious meal after a long walk!