Tired of moping around locked up in your house? Go hiking!
Hiking is a safe social activity that can be done alone or with a group of friends. What's better than leaving your phone and your worries behind and immersing yourself fully in nature? Absolutely nothing!
Hiking has various benefits. It does wonders for both your physical and mental health— so you tackle two in one! The experience of hiking is unique because it does way more than conventional physical exercise. Here are some benefits of hiking and why you need to go on a mini-hike this weekend!
Keeps Your Mind Sharp
Exercise helps your brain stay sharp because of the extra oxygenation that it brings. All types of exercise are good for us— be it walking, running, strength training, or aerobics, as long as it gets your heart rate up. However, hiking is a form of physical exercise that involves something that isn't too predictable— trails. These hiking trails are often volatile, with mud and dirt all around. Hidden branches, wild animals, and other various obstacles can block your hiking trail. This requires you to make adjustments or change your route, which makes you stay alert and sharp. Hiking aids that area of your brain linked to spatial and navigational memory— the retrosplenial cortex and hippocampus. So, not only does hiking keep your mind sharp, it keeps your memory sharp, too.
Natural Stress Relief
All types of exercise help combat stress. Like running, what sets hiking apart from other types of exercise is that it's done outdoors. Research reveals that walking amongst nature actually helps us de-load and recover from attention overload. This attention overload occurs from mental fatigue due to living in a cityscape and a technology-oriented world. Other studies have shown that those who spend more time in nature tend to be less anxious and have a lower risk of depression. So, not only is it good for your mental health because it's a form of exercise, the experience of being in nature encourages the feeling of being in awe, which has various benefits.
Helps Build Strong Bonds
Exercising with a group of people can help you feel close to them. Hiking with a group helps produce a sense of safety and trust. It's a great way to spend quality time with your partner, friends, or family without outside distractions. Studies show that those who hike together experience more positive emotions and have improved connections with one another.
Hiking also helps us bond with nature. When one has a personal connection with the natural world, it makes them more committed to protecting it. So, hiking doesn't only help us, but also the earth and the people around us.
The best backpacking bags and gear for hiking are ultra-light that's easy to carry around. At Light Hiking Gear, we've got comfortable and durable hiking backpacks and gear. Invest in our day backpacks or our lightweight bags for a stress-free and healthy hike.