#6 TRENDING IN Activities 🔥

10 Reasons to Take a Hike: Improve Your Physical and Mental Health


August 27, 2023

What is there not to love about hiking? The trees, leaves, animals, and much more you will see as you walk through the terrain in the great outdoors.

It can also be done by anyone of any age, and it is great exercise. Hiking provides both physical benefits and mental benefits. Here's a list of 10 benefits of hiking.

Improved Relationships

Regardless of whether you are hiking in a strenuous area or a more easy area, when you hike with another person you improve relationships with them by spending more time with them. Whether you are hiking with your sibling, parent, friend, neighbor or whoever, your relationship with the person you are hiking with will be sure to improve.

Image Credit: PNW Productions from Pexels

Lowers Blood Pressure

Blood pressure lowers when you exercise and this can avoid various health complications such as stroke, heart disease, angina, and atherosclerosis. Through hiking, you provide your body with a workout that allows your blood pressure to go down, which decreases the chance of suffering these health complications.

Improves Sleep

When you are out in the wilderness under the sun you receive Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial to the wake-sleep cycle. Receiving Vitamin D will improve your sleep and allow you to sleep better.

Even if it is cloudy and you have sunscreen on the sun, it will still give you the Vitamin D you need to sleep better. Not only is Vitamin D beneficial to sleep, but it also reduces the risk of autoimmune diabetes and supports good immune function.

Image credit: Jaime Reimer from Pexels

Improves Arthritis

When you have arthritis it is difficult to exercise due to the swelling in the joints. However, hiking doesn't put much stress on the joints and it still allows those with arthritis to get a good workout. Constantly going on hikes provides those with arthritis with many benefits, such as improving muscles and their cardiovascular health.

Improves Balance

While hiking you will encounter many obstacles such as roots of trees, rocks, and mud throughout the terrain. While at first you may be deterred by these constant nuisances, hiking frequently will help you adapt to these obstacles, which will improve your overall balance. Improved balance means better coordination, less reaction time, and fewer embarrassing trips.

Eases Stress

When you are out hiking you are in nature. When you are in nature, a stress hormone called cortisol reduces. Less cortisol means you are in a happier and calmer state. Even just taking a few minutes out of your day and spending that time hiking in nature will reduce your cortisol levels significantly and make you happier.

Image Credit: Anna Shvets from Pexels

Improved Brain Function

When you exercise, it causes blood flow in your brain. Hiking is considered exercise. Increased blood flow improves brain connections between neurons. Neurons are what control your memory and brain function, so increased brain flow will better your brain function and your ability to remember things.

Talking with Actual People

At this time and age, we often communicate with people via texting and social media rather than face-to-face interactions. However, hiking is an activity that forces you to interact face-to-face with a person, since you can't hike with a person unless they are right beside you. This will force you to socially engage with people and build your bond with them.

Do you want to go hiking but have no friends who want to join you? Find a friend on hikewith.me which is an app that allows strangers to meet up and go on hiking trips together. It may be scary to talk to strangers, but soon you will enjoy having a friend to join you on your hikes.

Image Credit: Ebru Yilmaz from Pexels

Boosts Your Self Esteem

When you set a goal and achieve it, your self-esteem improves. So, even if you believe your hiking trail is the most impossible trail to hike, your self-esteem will be boosted when you complete a trail you previously thought was impossible. This will encourage you to hike harder trails and your self-esteem will be better than ever.

Cross Train for Other Sports

Hiking works multiple muscles, so it can be effective for those who train in other sports. You become more athletic by exposing your body to new physical challenges and when hiking you do exactly that. Whether it is wrestling or golfing or soccer or some other sport, hiking improves your stamina, which is essential for all these sports.

Hiking is an activity that challenges both the body and the mind. Yet, this does not mean you cannot have a good time while hiking. Whether with a partner, a big group, or hiking alone, it is still an activity that can be done and enjoyed by all.

Chantel Hernandez
20k+ pageviews

Writer since Jul, 2023 · 12 published articles

Chantel Hernandez is a 15 year old girl. She likes reading, watching TV, and being on her phone.