I have never seen anyone come back from a hike with a frown on their face…
Truly, I have more than a few good reasons why you need to hit the trail. I personally do it for stress relief and as I have mentioned before it helps me keep my depression in check. I get depressed sometimes, as many people do, and I don’t take medication and I haven’t been “diagnosed”, but I have a bad week here and there. I prefer to take the natural route and get myself outdoors.
According to this article written by Rob Jordan, published by Stanford News “time in nature was found to have a positive effect on mood and aspects of cognitive function, including working memory, as well as a dampening effect on anxiety.”
There are a lot of other articles to support the mental health and fitness connection, and reasons to go enjoy a hike. You can read the full article from the Stanford News report here.
Time magazine also published a piece by Markham Heid in favor of hiking. Saying in short, hiking does the body and mind good. “While variable terrain works your body into shape, the sights, sounds and smells of nature may be performing a similar kind of alchemy in your brain.” Time magazine uses the same Stanford research in their article too. You can check out the Time article here.
In this month of March there is also a new movement I became aware of just a couple days ago for hiking and geared more towards women, its the #wehiketoheal wellness campaign. I think that this is such a great thing! I am all about wellness! Its purpose is to empower women to heal and grow using the great outdoors and become a part of a mindful movement. A way to discover themselves in a positive light with the support of a group. For more information go to the We Hike To Heal website to participate.
Of course, you may or may not know, hiking is a great workout. You are using your whole body to get through nature’s obstacle course. Abs, legs, glutes, lower back, to name a few. Not to mention your cardio level is way up, and so how can you not be conditioning your lungs. All this and you enjoy the scenery along the way. You’ll probably forget you’re even exercising!
If you haven’t noticed, the sport of hiking is relatively inexpensive as compared to other outdoor sports. You need to invest in some good shoes and a daypack, a water bottle and some sunglasses would be a good investment too. You can see my list of what to bring on a day hike in my blog archive, “Whats in your pack?”
You can go hike solo or bring a group of people. Some people go by themselves all the time, I always go with a partner. I don’t feel safe, at least not yet to go it alone. But I understand the reason why you might want to do that and just lose yourself in the great outdoors.
In one of my previous blog posts “Start Small” I show you my journal entry I have on getting organized and living a less stressful day to day. I tell you about the 4 factors to living a more meaningful life. Hiking can incorporate all of these. Its like the key 🔐 to unlock a happy, sane, fit, beautiful you!