3 Reasons Hiking Is Good For You

When was the last time you really concentrated on being truly present and in the moment? I’ve recently picked up hiking and I can’t tell you how gratifying it has been for me. That’s why I’d like to share with you 3 reasons hiking is good for you, both physically and mentally.

Do not underestimate the power of a walk in the woods: A Stanford University study suggests that even a 90-minute stroll in a natural environment can lead to measurable changes in the brain, and may help combat depression.

You heard that right. There’s a truckload of research that tells us that hiking is good for us. Here are 3 great reasons why…

Decreased Stress

There’s something about being in nature that has a beneficial effect on stress reduction.

In one recent experiment conducted in Japan, participants were assigned to walk either in a forest or in an urban center (taking walks of equal length and difficulty) while having their heart rate and blood pressure measured. The results? Those who walked in forests had significantly lower heart rates, better moods, and less anxiety than those who walked in urban settings. Makes you want to strap on your hiking boots, right?

Improves Your Memory

Studies have shown that people who regularly spend time in natural settings, hiking or otherwise, have improved memory and recollection. So if you’re terrible at sudoku like me, just grab your boots and hit the trail!

Helps You Sleep

Great workout equals great sleep. According to a study from the University of Michigan, hiking on uneven terrain increases the amount of energy your body uses by 28% compared to walking on flat ground. Your heart rate and metabolic rate go up, and you also burn more calories. Naturally, this also helps you sleep better at night.

One More Thing…

I just love hiking, and I hope this post has inspired you to start a new activity or to pick up hiking again. With social isolation being the new normal, hiking is a great opportunity to pick up your backpack and explore nature either by yourself or with a loved one.

If there’s another great reason you love to hike, I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. Also, please be sure to subscribe to my newsletter in order to receive more great blog posts straight to your inbox each Friday. If this post has inspired you, I encourage you to also read 5 Inspiring Motivational Health Tips to help you stay on track. Enjoy!

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