Hiking and walking isn’t just to improve our body physically, it can also have a huge positive impact on our mental health.
Benefits of Hiking
So what are the benefits…?
We love nothing more than to be closer to nature, and let our minds drift far away from the daily grind and the stress that we are always immersed in.
When you think about going out for a walk, you probably think that the only benefit is that you’ve had some physical activity. It’s true, you will have had some cardio workout, but that shouldn’t be the main reason to go on a long distance walk / hike.
We believe the importance of enjoying nature, and slowing down to take it all in.
Here are what we at Global Trekking think are the benefits:
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close.
Being in nature can boost your mood and improve mental health; the relaxing sights, smells, and feelings of nature has so many health benefits it can even be prescribed by a doctor! Did you know that spending as little as 90mins of quality time in the great outdoors reduces stress, calms anxiety, and can lead to a lower risk of depression, according to a study done by researchers at Stanford University. For no other reason, being outdoors opens up your senses to your surroundings and improves your sensory perception – which we think you can agree is never a bad thing!
Not so keep on hiking alone? Another great benefit of hiking is that you don’t have to go it alone; why not grab a friend/neighbour or family member!
Hiking with someone, or even as part of a group, can improve the strength and health of your relationships. Hiking can range in difficulty from a casual way of spending a few hours outside through to an extremely challenging day/multi-day climb. This can be a great way to strengthen the relationship you have with your hiking partner. Whether it’s with a younger sibling, a friend, or even a grandparent, hiking a trail together can bring you closer and help build a healthy, hopefully long lasting, relationship.
Outdoor Physical Exercise
Hiking is one of the best forms of a whole-body exercise. No matter what type of trail you find yourself on, hiking is a great way to exercise. Here are a few of the physical benefits of hiking:
- Building stronger muscles and bones
- Improving your sense of balance
- Improving your heart health
- Decreasing the risk of certain respiratory problems
Whether you find yourself scrambling up a steep incline or walking on a winding dirt path, hiking the perfect opportunity to get a work out!
Something fun & free to do
Parks and their many health benefits, some fitted with free workout activity stations, are open to anyone, no matter who you are and where you come from.
There are 100’s of national parks for you explore across the country, and each one presents its own unique opportunities for experiencing nature.
Don’t be afraid to lace up your boots and grab a walking stick.
The opportunities and benefits of hiking are waiting for you, all you have to do is go.