Did you know that hitting the pavement once in a while for brisk ways can highly enhance your brain, protect your heart, work your muscles, and raise your sense of wellbeing? Apparently, such a form of exercise has been proved to add up to 20 years to your life. But that’s not all.
New research shows that hiking is better in such ways you couldn’t even imagine. We’ve compiled a list with a few benefits of how taking your walks into nature, hilly woods, or uneven trails can do wonders to your body, mind, and relationships.
Choosing to go downhill can have many perks. Our quads and glutes need to perform a lot of slow, controlled work to support our hips and knees, so we don’t fall.
Those types of contractions have been proved to promote weight loss and better blood pressure, and we can also gain muscle!
Great For Your Core
Hiking across some challenging terrain, leaning sideways to navigate a switchback trail, or lifting yourself over rocks, can enhance your core muscles, such as your back ones, your abs, and obliques.
It might seem not very easy in the beginning, but once you get used to different types of terrain and body movements, it can actually be a lot of fun, too!
Enhance Your Mind and Relationships
“Spending time in the woods – a practice the Japanese call ‘forest bathing’ – is strongly linked to lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones and decreased anxiety, depression, and fatigue,” reads a statement from a report published in The Wall Street Journal.
What’s more, hiking can help you connect with other people and create a feeling of closeness and a sense of safety. For example, in one study, mothers and daughters who spent just 20 minutes walking in the woods had improved interactions with each other and better attention during a cognitive task.
Remember that even if you never embarked on a hiking journey before, it’s easy to get started!
Nowadays, tons of apps offer nearby trails so that you can search for one and find the nearest experience. Or, you might as well try the 1,000-mile challenge that stirred quite the buzz lately.