If you ask about a thing that is both enjoyable and beneficial, I would definitely name ‘hiking’. It is very helpful in healing a distressful and depressed mind. It also gives an adventurous memory as well. Typically, hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of anxiety, says Gregory A. Miller, Ph.D., president of the American Hiking Society.
Besides, associate professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School Warber says, “Stress isn’t ever going to go away, so it is important to have a way to cope with it”. “Walking in nature is a coping mechanism – the benefits aren’t just physical.”
Why is Hiking important for your health?
Hiking gives you the zeal of a crazy life and lets you enjoy the beautiful rays of the rising sun! The experiences you will get from hiking are rare to find in other trips or trekking. Wear sunscreen to avoid direct exposure of your skin to the sun and get the vitamin D that will enhance your glow.
According to Huffpost Healthy Living: Unbelievably, hiking works as an antidepressant! It pleases your mind and fills it with a clear view of a happy life. It increases your creativity and it has ‘13 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise’. If you want true motivation and inspiration of life, go for a hike on a jog or trail.
As there are differences in trails, terrain, and seasons, hiking is quite an interesting exercise. It motivates you for exercising and keeps you healthy and fit. You may hike in a group or alone, depending on the situation. If you go with a group, the trek will be more entertaining and stress reliever.
There are no hard and fast rules of hiking. If you are an introvert and do not feel comfortable with a group, make your own trip because hiking is ‘your ticket’! Walking along a deep forest is calm and soothing and there will be no one to look at you there. Therefore, feel yourself and go out for a hike as soon as possible! Here are some of the best reasons that highlight the importance of hiking:
Develops Your Overall Health
Hiking is beneficial to health as it encourages you to go outside and get some exercise. So, it helps prolong your life and keep your mind fresh from bad thoughts. Hiking on your own level is a kind of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, which is considered as a safe exercise for most of the people according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Decreases the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Hiking keeps your cardiovascular system in a perfect shape. It helps to increase your high-density lipo-protein levels and to decrease the triglyceride level. The overall risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke is lessened.
Prevent and Control Diabetes
Regular jogging or hiking lowers your blood sugar and keeps diabetes under control. Hiking aids the movement of glucose from your bloodstream and gives a workout to your muscles. If you hike on a regular basis, your body may go through some changes. So, consult your doctor to adjust your diabetes medications.
Enhances Your Energy Level
Hiking ensures more oxygen and energy to your body muscles, organs, and important body tissues. This aerobic activity strengthens your lungs and muscles and increases your endurance, alertness, and energy level.
Burns out the Calories
If you are worried about your weight, hiking can certainly give you an effective solution. It burns many calories. Diabetic Lifestyle says if a 150lbs man walks at a slow pace of 2 miles/hour, he will approximately burn 240 calories/hr. Start with a 30 minutes exercise and extend the time daily.
Increases Your Bone Density
Hiking can effectively fight osteoporosis and arthritis. If you hike on a regular basis, it will gradually strengthen the weak bones and relieve you from pain. Hiking for 150 minutes/week makes the body joints flexible and reduces joint stiffness related to osteoarthritis, as CDC says.
Reduces the Cancer Risk
Hiking prevents the development of cancer in your body. The risk of breast or colon cancer decreases due to hiking regularly with other physical exercises. It also fights against lung cancer and endometrial cancer.
Lifts Your Mood
If you want to boost up your mood, hiking is what you need. Walking through a beautiful wooden area will release tons of frustration within seconds and make you feel comfortable! Hiking is more enjoyable if you can go with a group of friends or neighbors. You will get the chance of sharing your feelings and exchanging ideas with others.
Hiking is tiring and you will need rest after hiking for few hours. You may take a short nap or go for a long sleep after a full tiring day. In this way, it reduces insomnia and ensures a sound sleep.
Provides a Regular Dose of Vitamin D
When you get outside for a hike, your body is directly exposed to the sun. It is the best source of vitamin D though you will find it in many fortified foods. So, vitamin D of the sun will develop your muscles and make your bones stronger. If you go on a hike for only 10 minutes, the level of vitamin D will be well maintained in your body. Therefore, it is better for your health.
Hiking is undoubtedly a great exercise to maintain a healthy life. If you still do not believe it, go out yourself and feel the difference in your own body! Go on a hike this Memorial Day weekend and make a list of good things for your body. Do bring all of the essential hiking gears, so you can enjoy the hike to the fullest.