Exploring nature. It is something that we do less and less. We get caught up with work and busy in the day-to-day routines that we forget to take those moments to stop and just look around us. If you live in a big city, you may fail to see nature at this moment, but I promise it’s out there.
Whether you live in a small rural town, in the suburb, or in a bustling city, you are normally within arms reach of some aspect of nature. Whether that is your local neighborhood, a park down the street, the mountains within driving distance, or your farm, you have the chance to “take a hike,” literally.
Hiking offers many benefits:
- In just one hour, you can burn well over 500 calories hiking. If you chose the hilly trail, you can increase your weight loss even more.
- Trails are often easier on your joints than asphalt or concrete.
- Hiking tones your whole body from your legs to your butt to your arms.
- It can help treat and prevent diabetes by increasing your exercise. This allows you to move the glucose out of your bloodstream to fuel your muscles.
- It can also help to control your blood pressure, if you participate in regular hiking.
- By hiking, your happiness increases. If you have ever seen the movie, Legally Blonde, then you’ve heard the quote: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Elle Woods had a point. Hiking works in the same way to increase the hormones within your body that are responsible for happiness.
- Hiking can also be a social activity. It can be a bonding experience within a relationship or a great time to catch up with friends and family.
- Studies have shown that hiking increases your creativity by increasing your attention span and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50%.
- The International Journal of Sports Medicine found that hiking can prevent the onset, progression, and recurrence of cancer. They found that long distance hiking trips may improve the antioxidative capacity in the blood of cancer patients by allowing the blood cells to be more equip to protect the body and fight off disease.