posted on June 15, 2023
Hello my lovely explorers,
As the great lyricist Mungo Jerry once said ” In the summertime when the weather is high. You can stretch right up and touch the sky. When the weather’s fine, you got hiking, you got hiking on your mind. Have a drink, have a drive. Go out and see what you can find.” Or something like that.
So today I will be teaching you about the benefits of hiking. Close your eyes and imagine the crisp warm sunshine lighting up your soul, the sounds of the gentle water trickling down the creek, wind flowing through the trees above and the cool soft earth below your boots. Dang does that sound peaceful or what?! This imagination can not only become a reality but also provide some wonderful physical, mental and emotional health benefits.
Hiking is a great way to exercise, no matter what type of trail or stage of your wellness life you are in, you’ll get a whole body workout. Some physical benefits of hiking are; building stronger muscles and bones, improving your sense of balance and proprioception, improving overall cardiovascular health and decreasing the risk of certain respiratory problems. Being outside has shown to increase life expectancy, improve sleep quality and decrease cancer risks. Natural outdoor spaces are more enticing for physical activity and are more likely to motivate people to exercise leading to advanced levels of overall physical fitness. Studies have even shown that being in nature is relaxing, something we all could benefit from is relaxing more. This helps reduce our stress, cortisol level, muscle tension, heart rate, calms anxiety, leads to lower risk of depression and improved stress recovery, how lovely. Being in nature can help open your senses to your surroundings and increase sensory perception, bringing you focus and attention. Also you do not have to trek alone, lace up your friend, family member, neighbor or dog’s boots and hike with a partner or group. This is a marvelous way to strengthen relationships, increase quality time and increase the distance and motivation of your hike.
Go get away, step outside and take in the sights, smells and feelings of nature.
Whether you’re climbing up the steepest peak in the Rocky Mountains or trotting down a winding dirt path, hiking is a superb opportunity to get a workout. For the hikers out there, what have been some of your most enjoyable hikes from your adventures? A few of my favorite places to hike have been Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Rocky Mountain/Estes National Park & El Dorado State Park in Colorado, Glacier National Park in Montana, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, The Badlands National Park in South Dakota, Hikes in Asheville North Carolina and probably a few more that I am missing. Send me your favorite hikes and let’s go explore.