Why do people love hiking so much? And why is it those who do seem to be addicted to it? A simple answer: hiking makes you happier and healthier.
If you’re asking yourself what’s so great about walking around in the woods all day, let us explain. There’s an old saying, “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” and we think this applies to hiking. Once you realize how fun it is and all the benefits it has to offer your body and mind, you’ll be hooked, too.
Hiking is incredibly good for the mind, body, and soul, and this is why people feel so good after doing it. That great feeling of euphoria can start to feel addicting, calling you back to hike again and again. But since it’s so good for you, you don’t even have to feel bad about indulging.
On the surface, hiking may seem like walking, but there are some significant differences. For one, walking on flat terrain takes minimal effort. Your muscles, joints, and even your heart are challenged more in hiking.
Here’s how hiking can make you happier
Hiking makes you happier because it boosts your mood, reduces anxiety, allows you to de-stress, gives you physical activity, and can be a lot of fun. Hiking takes you away from the daily grind, your stresses and worries, and responsibilities and puts you in place to relax and enjoy the world around you.
You will also feel more grateful when you hike, especially if you practice mindfulness while you do it. Taking the time to look at all the beauty in nature, the animals, trees, and other plants, and to tune in and listen to the sounds found on the trails. It’s all an excellent way to feel happier and more connected to the earth.
Because grounding exercises are a great way to battle anxiety and physical activity is excellent for depression, these are just some more ways that hiking can make you happy. While it’s a great activity to keep your mind healthy, it also makes your physical body healthier.
Here’s how hiking can make you healthier
Hiking makes you healthier because it works all the systems in your body. As we described above, it is more challenging than simply walking. It can also help reduce anxiety, and it’s great for your heart health. Hiking has been proven to help regular blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It can also lower blood cholesterol levels and help increase the good ones.
In addition to improved heart function, hiking is great for the muscles and bones. It can help boost bone density, strengthen your skeletal system, and make you less prone to breaks and injuries. Hiking also causes you to engage and use muscles that you wouldn’t use in your normal day-to-day activities. This is why a lot of hikers have strong glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.
More Benefits to Hiking
Hiking has more benefits than just plain walking, but it can be less strenuous on the body and joints than impact sports, workouts, and related activities. Most trails are softer on the body than concrete or asphalt, and it can be a more sustainable way to exercise.
It can also:
- Help strengthen your core
- Improve balance
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Help control your weight
- Improves mood
- Teaches survival skills
- It helps connect you with nature
Now that you know more about how hiking makes you happier and healthier, you can look at it entirely differently. It’s the ultimate cardio workout, a great way to connect with nature, and great mindfulness activity, all rolled into one.