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Benefits of Hiking on your Mental Health

Updated: Jun 25

We all know the physical benefits of getting out for a good brisk walk or going on a hike. Consistent exercise builds muscle, helps manage weight, reduces the risk of heart disease, and has many other benefits to our physical bodies. But many of us don't consider the benefits of hiking to our mental health. The sights and sounds of nature actually have positive effects on our health. Hiking can be a great way to get outside and enjoy nature while getting in some exercise. It's also a form of exercise that doesn't require a gym membership or special equipment. If you're feeling stressed or anxious, there's no better way to relax and unwind than by getting out into nature. Hiking can help improve physical health and mental well-being in several ways:

  • It releases endorphins that promote feelings of happiness and well-being.

  • It provides time for reflection and mindfulness, which helps reduce stress and anxiety.

  • It allows you to spend time in nature, which has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall mood.

  • Hiking is a natural anti-depressant and can help you combat depression and anxiety, thanks to physical activity and exposure to nature.

  • Meditation in motion: Research shows that hiking has many similar benefits as meditation. Both activities are known to improve moods and reduce stress levels, as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate.

  • Calorie burner: One hour of hiking burns 400-500 calories — that's more than double what you'd burn by walking at the same speed for an hour!

  • Weight loss: Hiking is a great way to shed pounds without having to do much extra work at all. In fact, you can burn up to 1,000 calories during a strenuous day on the trail!

man with backpack and walking stick on a mountain
Hiking Increases Seratonin production in the brain

Feeling like you are surrounded by unhealthy environments like pollution, automobile exhaust fumes, or stale office air? Studies show that hiking is an activity that can help you relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of life. It is easy to see why hiking is often called "walking meditation." The rhythmic walking, gentle sounds of nature, and the beauty of nature all combine to give hikers a sense of peace and tranquility.

It has been shown that hiking can also have a positive effect on depression, anxiety, and stress levels. Hiking in nature can also be especially beneficial because it provides a sense of connection with the natural world. It boosts self-confidence and self-esteem. When you are hiking outdoors, you are able to connect with nature and appreciate all of its beauty — which will boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. This feeling can last even after you return home from your hike! Hiking has also been shown to increase physical strength and stamina because it requires a lot of physical exertion, so it will make you feel more powerful as well as confident in yourself!

It'll give you a chance to reconnect with nature and clear your mind. Plus, it will burn a ton of calories and get you in a great mood! Want to explore the natural world around you? Grab your gear, and get moving. With a map and a few supplies, you'll conquer trails you didn't know existed. In the process, you'll conquer yourself and find an inner joy you never knew existed.

Fold up that map and get ready for the trip of a lifetime. Never stop exploring. Start today. Take a class. Go to a festival. Cook up something new. There's always a new adventure waiting for you.

Whether you're hiking the Appalachian Trail or just taking a stroll around your neighborhood, the forests, mountains, and deserts will reveal themselves. There is beauty everywhere and it is waiting to be discovered! The great outdoors is an adventure waiting to happen. No matter what you like to do in life, there is beauty in exploring the wild spaces of the earth. Follow this link to our home page to find hundreds of hiking destinations if you live in Washington State where I live.

Thousands of trails and paths lay waiting to be explored. From the smallest park to the deepest woods, adventure awaits. You never know what you'll discover next! When you visit the most beautiful destinations that this world has to offer, your entire outlook on life will change.

Hike or Bike? That's up to you! Hiking, biking, swimming, and rock climbing all can be done for free or with little money so go conquer the great outdoors on a bike, in swim shorts, or with a backpack.

Did you know hiking increases your serotonin production in the brain?

Hiking can help you relax and reduce stress. Being in nature has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels. Hiking can also help boost serotonin levels in the brain (which is associated with mood) and dopamine levels (which are associated with pleasure). Yep, that's right, hiking actually makes you feel good!

Hiking gives you an outlet for creativity

Many people enjoy writing while they're hiking — whether it's journaling or composing poetry or even just doodling in their sketchpad. This gives people an outlet for their creative thoughts while they enjoy nature at the same time. It also strengthens social connections.

Hiking can be a great way to bond with family members, friends, or coworkers who share this hobby with you. You might even meet new people who like hiking as well! So making a decision to hike is good for you in so many ways. Just make sure you follow basic hiking guidelines for safety which you can find below.

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