Take a Hike!
No, really. TAKE A HIKE. November 17th is National Hiking Day and why shouldn’t there be a day to celebrate this? There is a National Play Your Ukulele Day for crying out loud so National Hiking Day seems pretty normal now doesn’t it? Scared of spiders and bears? Take an urban hike! Like the thrill of what might be around the corner (probably another hiker vs anything too wild), take a walk on your favorite trail or try out one you never did before.
We probably don’t need to remind you what a great form of exercise hiking is. Or that is can be a way to burn over 550 calories an hour. Or that it allows you to get outdoors and away from the phone. What we can be reminded of is the effect shorter days and colder temperatures can have on us. It often keeps us indoors more than we typically are, as well. Take a hike day is a great reminder to get outdoors (even if its a little chilly) and soak up the benefits of nature.
Why are we talking about this? Aside from the obvious which is that hiking is a great source of exercise and activity (because #strongisneverwrong) we bet you didn’t realize what other gems of benefits come from hiking.
HIKING GIVES YOU PERSPECTIVE
Amazing things happen when we get out into the great outdoors. You may find a sudden appreciation the beauty of nature. The constant movement also does something magical. It allows an outlet that helps our minds focus on solving the problems it’s been trying to figure out all week. Many use hiking to think through solutions, help to go through tough times in our social lives, or cope with changes.
HIKING MAKES YOU HAPPY
There are magical fairies and elves hiding on the trail just waiting to sprinkle down happy fairy dust. In all reality, endorphins and serotonin are the hormones released when we hike. These hormones make us happy. So, it might seem like we are being sprinkled with fairy dust, but its really our bodies improving our moods. These hormones also help fight off anxiety, and prevent loneliness and depression – who doesn’t need a good dose of that right now?!
HIKING IS FOR EVERYBODY!
Hiking is what is called a “lifetime sport”. Due to the variety of trails, the self pacing aspect, and low intensity activity, nearly every person of every age can go hiking. You can also use it for a relaxing, slow pace to absorb the wonders of nature or you can push yourself by increasing your pace, choosing a tougher terrain, or higher elevation.
Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips from Work Right NW!