Go out in the sun, enjoy nature and let it have a positive effect on your mood.
Hiking can reduce stress, with benefits for every area of your life, especially emotional health. Being in nature is truly refreshing and inspiring.
Some health benefits that you’ll achieve from making hiking part of your routine include (source):
- Healthier mind: less rumination on problems can result in better sleep and sense of calm.
- Less muscle pain: walking reduces the tension in your muscles with it’s low-impact activity.
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases: healthier heart and less stress is good news all round!
- Weight loss: hiking is a great calorie boost and will reduce cortisol levels related to stress.
Walking in nature will allow you to regroup your thoughts and take a break emotionally – reducing feelings of overwhelm. When the body is relaxed, it’s easier for the mind to be calm too.
How hiking can reduce stress
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.John Muir in Our National Parks.
Hiking for weight loss is an effective activity as it burns between 300 and 700 calories an hour, depending. In addition to the benefits received from exercise, you’ll likely increase your motivation for other fitness activities, research says.
According to WebMD, more and more doctors are recommending ecotherapy to reduce anxiety and depression, while improving stress. These nature prescriptions are accepted by traditional health care providers – backed by researched benefits of exercising in nature.
How to get started
Look into 30 minute trails in designated parks in your municipality first – these will have clear signposts and easier footpaths. You could also look up accessible trail networks in your community to find beautiful forest boardwalks and comfortable distances. From there, challenge yourself to do it as part of your weekly routine. Don’t overthink, just go!
> LEARN MORE ABOUT BEGINNER HIKING TRIPS HERE