Walking is good for us and it’s a good mood motivator. Hiking, is essentially a long walk in the countryside.
Walking for long periods outdoors has many benefits and offers much more that nice views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature. Hiking is really good for us, too. While hiking is a powerful cardio workout it also:
Clears the Mind
Hiking through a natural environment is more effective than simply taking a stroll through the city.
While any sort of walking certainly has physical health benefits, walking through nature has the addition of mental health benefits as it seems to reduce the effect of the part of your brain that brings about bad moods.
Unplugs us from the World
Hiking provides a welcome break from the feeling of always being connected to the world through our phones and computers.
Wandering where there is no wi-fi or mobile phone reception can really help to relieve the effects of the mental fatigue that technology inevitable brings. We mustn’t get stressed over not being connected through.
Improves our Outlook
While exercising in the gym can be great exercise for improving mental states, a hike outdoors is even better when it comes to fighting common mental health issues like stress and depression.
The diverse scenery is a lot more invigorating so it’s easy to appreciate how a walk-through nature, or even a local park makes us feel so much happier.
Boosts the Brain
Research studies show that people who spend more time in nature, and less time with technology, are up to 50% more creative when it comes to problem-solving tasks and regular walkers and hikers have a better memory than those who don’t go out in to nature that often.
It is thought that regular closeness to nature can even help restore some basic cognitive functions like memory and focus.
Follow these suggestions to get the most out of hiking:
Start slowly: A short, local hike is best for beginners. Gradually work up to trails with hills or uneven terrain.
Use walking poles: Digging into the ground and propelling yourself forward pushes the upper body muscles to work harder and gives us a stronger cardio workout.
Walk on hilly ground: Even a small hill will intensify our heart rate and burn extra calories and even a small incline can increase in calorie burn by around 30-40%.
Carry extra weight: Stock the day pack with extra weight, water is a good option. Adding a 10- to 15-pound day pack will boost our calorie burn while strengthening lower back muscles.
Lastly, safety is important so it’s best not to hike alone at first, especially on unfamiliar or remote trails. A partner or group can help us navigate and assist if we get hurt.
As our skill level improves, we will feel more comfortable going solo. It’s important to know our route before we go. Check the weather, and dress and pack accordingly and always follow marked paths and trails.