Exercise in general can be a great stressbuster. But don't underestimate the power of a hike. There are plenty of benefits from reducing anxiety to helping you build muscle — and you don't need to go hard-core to net the many benefits of it, either. It doesn't take a lot to get started. All you really need are two key items: proper footwear and a day bag (to carry your water, granola bar etc.) Still not convinced. Here are some compelling reasons to get you outside.
Makes You Happier: there is nothing greater than feeling the crisp air against your face, or the sound of the leaves rustling, while walking through nature. A feeling of an all-encompassing calm will come over you, whether its flat terrain or a hilly stretch, hiking helps us stay centred and focused in the moment to what’s around.
You Worry Less: hiking offers a different type of perk than traditional cardio, since it reduces stress, while improving your mood. Being in nature can be calming, and if you spend time walking in nature, you may feel less anxious and suffer less rumination (thinking about the same worries or regrets repeatedly).
Helps Strengthen Your Body: depending on what part of the hiking journey you are on, navigating any tough terrain helps you build your core strength (abs, obliques, glutes etc.,) by keeping your body stabilized and upright – even more if you’re carrying a backpack! Plus, it helps you build endurance without putting such a hard load on your body.
Gets You Moving Better Around the Clock: unlike running, walking, lunging, etc., hiking, forces you to move every which way, as you climb over fallen trees and sidestep slippery rocks by doing things that require you to move in multiple directions, you end up strengthening your stabilizing muscles that fire to prevent common injuries.
Hiking Makes you Feel Grateful: for everything we have. This is partly due to the work it takes to hike, but also due to the fact hiking slows us down enough to think and admire what we have. Mother Nature has an uncanny knack for reminding us to never take a single moment for granted.
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