Have you been searching for an exercise that strengthens not only your body, but your mind? Are you interested in low-impact exercise that has a high impact of health? Hiking may be your answer.
Hiking is a form of walking in varied terrain. Depending on the location and the trail maintenance, hiking can be along a flattened, paved trail, or it could look like climbing a mountain. Usually, it’s somewhere in between. No matter the intensity, hiking is a form of aerobic exercise which improves cardiovascular health. A leisurely hike avoids joint overexertion, yet still challenges muscular growth. This type of movement ultimately leads to reinforced bone density, setting you up for better bone health during the aging process.
It’s not just your body that is affected, but your mind can reap benefits, too. Mental health benefits of hiking can range from decreased stress to addressing clinical depression and anxiety. Hiking can also be a type of meditation, allowing for a clear mind. There’s also the added benefit of fresh air and sunshine, which have both mental and physical benefits.
Finally, increasing time spent outdoors can build confidence, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Especially for children, playing outside can integrate classroom knowledge with hands-on learning, leading to improved information processing. Adults can still be challenged through remembering long-forgotten survival skills or tree identification. Getting outside is a chance to change your perspective and enjoy the simplicity of nature.
Interested in experiencing the benefits for yourself? Join Hike Hoppers in exploring regional parks. This group seeks to connect community with nature to restore physical and mental health. Their premiere event is Saturday, June 17th where you can visit three area parks in a Park Hop. Find out more information about the event here. Make sure to register to secure your t-shirt and box lunch. Plus, follow Hike Hoppers on Facebook to watch for future events and get a dose of inspiration to get outside!