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9 Brilliant Hiking Benefits: Hiking for your mind and body

Hiking is a great way to get exercise and improve your cardiovascular health

Hiking is a great way to get exercise because it involves a lot of different muscles in your body. You’re constantly moving, so it’s a great workout for your heart and lungs. Hiking is also beneficial to strengthen your leg muscles and improve your balance.

Cardiovascular health is extremely important because it’s responsible for pumping blood and oxygen throughout your body. When your cardiovascular health is poor, it can lead to heart disease, stroke and other serious health problems. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re getting regular exercise, including hiking, to keep your cardiovascular health in top shape.

Improved bone density is also another hiking benefit along with increasing your muscle strength. Walking regularly helps to keep your bones healthy and strong by stimulating the growth of new bone cells. When you walk, your body weight is distributed evenly over your feet, which helps to keep your bones strong and healthy.

9 Brilliant Hiking Benefits: Hiking for your mind and body - hiking benefits
Striding edge on Helvellyn

Hiking is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety

When you’re stressed, you’re usually responding to something that’s worrying or stressing you out. It’s normal to feel some stress and anxiety but chronic stress has been linked to problems such as disease (from increased cortisol levels) and weight gain.

Being overly stressed will leave your physical health weaker and make it harder for your mind to focus on tasks. It can also cause a lot of mental distress because the brain is stuck in an “emergency” state of fear, anger, or sadness with no end in sight. So that leads us back to what we said about weight gain

Hiking is an enjoyable activity that can be done by anyone. It takes you to nature and allows you to enjoy the beauty of greenery and foliage, which promotes relaxation. If you’re able to shut off your phone during your hike, it will give your body a well-deserved break from this technological world; fresh air does wonders for relieving anxiety or stress.

Hiking is also a moderate-intensity workout, so it’s perfect for people who are just starting to get into shape. Hiking burns a lot of calories, so it’s an excellent way to lose weight without thinking about the exercise you are doing.

Hiking Benefits for mental health

Hiking is a great exercise for the mind

Hiking requires mental focus – making sure your balance is right and paying attention to obstacles like tree roots or uneven ground – as well as physical strength. There are also many opportunities on a hiking trip to commune with friends or family while enjoying the natural ambience around you, boosting mental health.

It also gives you mental tasks other than thinking about working out. You may have to think about the route, where to stop for a break, when do we turn back. Or you could just be wrapped up in conversation. You’ve got so much to think about that the physical exertion becomes secondary to the mental workout.

Hiking can help improve your mood and increase your sense of well-being

Just being in nature is a great way to boost your mood

When you’re surrounded by the beauty of nature the stresses of life fade away, it’s easy to feel more relaxed and content with yourself and others. This is especially true when you have good friends or family members on the hike with you, so make sure to schedule some trips with some close friends and family.

After all, shared experiences are better because they’re more enjoyable. When someone has a great life experience, it’s much more enjoyable if they can share that with those they care about. There’s always the option to watch the memory on their own (or re-live it through photo and video), but there’s an emotional attachment while witnessing it with others.

There’s also a study into walking in natural environments vs the urban environment.

Participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness compared with those who walked through an urban environment. – Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation

Hiking is an excellent way to boost your creativity

Hiking benefits your mind and body by giving you something to think about other than everyday chores. This allows the mind to wander and think about more creative things.

This doesn’t mean hiking is inherently creative; rather, it provides conditions conducive to creativity. For example, when you’re hiking, every few steps can change the view or surroundings, which prevents boredom or stagnation in one’s train of thought.

Hiking has a way of rejuvenating the mind and can help you overcome creative barriers that might be holding you back from achieving your goals.

The ‘creative incubation‘ hypothesis was proposed by Graham Wallas in his 1926 book The Art of Thought, which states that the best way to solve problems is to relax and let your mind wander, allowing the answer to come to you, often in a flash of insight.

Hiking allows for a “creative incubation” process where you can let your subconscious work through problems for you. It’s like opening the door and allowing your mind to play with all the new things and variables it encounters.

Hiking is a great way to explore new places and see beautiful scenery

Hiking is a great way to explore new places because it allows you to see the beautiful scenery that you would not be able to see otherwise. It gets you to places that you simply cannot reach using a car or mechanised travel.

Walking is, of course, slower than travelling by car or by bike. When you walk, you have more time to observe your surroundings. This is especially beneficial when you’re hiking or walking in a new area. By taking the time to look around, you can learn about the history and culture of the area. You may also see things that you would have missed if you were travelling more quickly.

9 Brilliant Hiking Benefits: Hiking for your mind and body - hiking benefits
Exploring the Scottish Highlands by wild camping

Hiking can help you connect with nature

There are many reasons why it’s important to connect with nature. For one, as mentioned above, being in nature can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. It can also help improve your mood and increase your sense of well-being. Finally, connecting with nature is a great way to connect with yourself and appreciate the natural world around you.

There are many benefits to connecting with oneself. For one, it can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. It can also help improve your mood and increase your sense of well-being.

As you can see, it’s all connected (forgive the pun), like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s an excellent way to understand the natural world

We misunderstand nature because we are removed from it. We see it as something to use, not to cherish. This void between what happens in cities and what happens in nature has been driven by the modern world.

We’ve lost touch with the natural world and all of its wonders. We no longer appreciate the beauty and intricacies of nature, but instead, only see what we can use or exploit for our own gain. This is a great tragedy, as the natural world is something that should be treasured and revered above all else.

Sometimes the problem is we are so disconnected we don’t realise what it is we are losing. Most of us are ignorant about how nature works and how delicate some things are. By Hiking we get to see the beauty in nature, to understand what we risk losing and to see how habitats are being damaged.

Thankfully there are now many people who are fighting to protect the natural world. There are many non-profit organisations and charities that advocate for the protection of wilderness areas and encourage people to connect with nature. There are also countless individuals who are working to protect the natural world in the public eye and behind closed doors.

If we all better understand the world around us we’d all appreciate it more.

Hiking is a great way to meet new people and strengthen friendship

Hiking benefits you socially. It’s a great way to meet new people because it gives you something in common with the person you are meeting. It also opens up a world of possibilities for meeting new people such as your fellow hikers, potential future friends and even romantic interests.

Doing physical challenges really brings a group together. Collective Trauma is when you and your friend are struggling with something that can have serious implications. Some long-distance and arduous hikes like the three peaks challenge can be hard on your own but having a group around you makes it easier. There is then a camaraderie between the group members who can look back and reflect on the challenges they overcame and what they learned. It forges a common bond that can last a lifetime.

Joining a walking or mountaineering club is an opportunity to share a common interest with other people. You can break down barriers by sharing experiences together as well as discovering people who share your views on different subjects. Hiking also helps strengthen friendships because it allows you to get outside and work towards something together while expanding the understanding and appreciation of each other’s skills.

Strengthening friendship bonds is a hiking benefit
A group of friends conquer Ben Nevis together

Conclusion

Hiking benefits us in a number of ways. It’s a great way to get exercise, reduce stress, improve your mood, connect with nature, and explore new places. It’s also an excellent way to understand the natural world and meet new people. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start hiking!

 

Not convinced? Well you may find this article convincing How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative

Want to get out more? Why not join us on a group walk

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Pictures of recents hikes

Sunrise on snowdon
Snowdon and the PYG track at sunrise
Dovedale from Thorpe Cloud
Mountain Navigation Course
View over Llyn Padarn, Snowdonia
Stepping stones in Dovedale
On Scafell at Sunset
Instruction using map and compass
Cloud Inversion on the way up Ben Nevis
Going down Swirral Edge, Helvellyn, Lake District
9 Brilliant Hiking Benefits: Hiking for your mind and body - hiking benefits

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