Go Take a Hike: The Health Benefits of Hiking

Hiking is one of my favorite ways to exercise. I love connecting with nature while being active! Breathe in the fresh air, admire the natural beauty, and revel in the challenge of the terrain. Plus, it is a way to get your whole family active together! We put our toddler in the hiking backpack and point out flowers, lakes, and wildlife that we see. Aside from my personal love for hiking, there are many proven health benefits to this type of physical activity. Here are just a few:

  • Powerful cardio workout
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer
  • Boosts bone density and fights against osteoporosis
  • Improves muscle strength
  • Improves balance
  • Powerful mood booster (combats symptoms of stress and anxiety)
  • Aids with weight control and weight loss
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Stabilizes cholesterol levels

I find that hiking and being in nature is a great chance to practice walking meditation. Breathe in and out consciously as you hike or walk, and become mindful of the present moment. You can nourish your emotional and spiritual well-being while improving your physical health. I love the idea of improving your “whole” self with one activity…talk about powerful!

So, find a great trail and go take a hike! I promise you will be glad you did!

 

Interested in more information? Check out this WebMD article and this article from American Hiking Society.

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