Do you love to hike? Good news! There are a ton of benefits for the body and mind through simply taking a hike. Let’s explore some of the most common:
Keeps You Present
When you hike, it is nearly impossible not to be present. In fact, walking meditation is a common Buddhist practice wherein the goal is simply to walk and be present with every step we take. Some people find it difficult to sit still to meditate, so hiking is a great option for them. The sounds of water streaming by, birds chirping and animals scurrying throughout the trails will keep you present and in the moment and enjoying life in a unique way that we don’t often get to do.
Invites a Sense of Adventure
When it is just you and the open trails, a sense of adventure will begin to wash over you. This is a feeling you probably haven’t felt since you were a child. It is up to you to decide which trail you’ll take next, which parts of the hike you want to explore, etc. This sense of adventure is so good for adults, as it is typically not a part of their daily activities. Feeling like a child again will bring more creativity and playfulness to your life, which is good for everyone!
Helps You Build Muscle and Lose Weight
Going to the gym is great, but you cannot get the same type of work out there that you will get with a hike. Hiking engages different muscle groups that are not typically engaged. The muscle groups stimulated during a good hike include quadriceps, hamstrings, and our lower leg and hip muscles. When you wear a backpack while hiking, you are adding additional weight and helping to build your core strength. Lastly, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise, hiking helps to build your bone density.
The next time you are looking for a mind and body workout, step outside for a hike. The benefits are many but include keeping you present and in the moment, allowing a sense of adventure and helping you to build muscle and lose weight. Hiking is a unique opportunity to blend the physical and mental aspects of a workout, all while soaking in the beauty of nature.