Walking and hiking is a form of exercise, and a healthy one for that matter. However, if you thought that the only benefits of hiking are to your physical health and your body shape, think again. Medical experts have found that hiking is an effective tool for fighting chronic mental illnesses and other psychological issues like anxiety and depression. In fact, some doctors in Scotland decided to prescribe hiking as a treatment to people with chronic illnesses.
So, if you’re struggling with a persistent, psychological condition or issue like stress and anxiety, you should add this activity to your routine. When you’re fighting depression, being active is hard, but also the most effective way to overcome your psychological issues. Thankfully, hiking is both fun and will keep you on your feet.
If you’re interested in this and want to know about the health benefits of hiking, keep reading.
1.Hiking Can Boost the Overall Health
Being physically active is known to produce a great number of health benefits. In many cases of health-related issues, exercising can be either an effective alternative, or a supplement to pharmaceutical and medical treatments. Moreover, exercise is a proven tool for boosting the brain’s health since it releases the feel-good hormones, improves the executive and cognitive function, boosts the memory, and sharpens the focus.
2. Hiking Leads to an Improved Emotional State
Hiking gives people some space to think and time to refuel. As a result, it can boost the emotional state and reduce the stress. By escaping from the distractions and irritants in your daily life, you can get the peace and quiet you need and enjoy the mental benefits of hiking.
3. Hiking Reduces the Symptoms of ADHD
An ADHD study concluded that patients who had the disorder have enjoyed a significant relief and reduction of the condition’s symptoms after starting the habit of hiking. The positive and strong results of the result of thing psychological condition only start to prove how beneficial hiking can be for mental conditions in general.
4. Hiking Decreases the Habit of Obsessive Thinking
Have you been obsessing over irrelevant or stressful things? Well, if you choose to hike and view some of Mother Nature’s wonderful sights, this can give you a sense of calmness and make you forget about your obsessive thoughts.
Jeanne Peters, a psychology student who used hiking to overcome depression says: ‘’When I was asked to write my plagiarism free research paper on hiking, I didn’t really know much about it. I thought it is a silly exercise where you just ‘walk around doing nothing’. But, after reading and doing research to write the content on the topic, I decided to test it. It turns out that hiking had the greatest effect on my overcoming of depression.
5. Hiking Increases Creativity Levels
Some studies have shown that regular hikers are better able to creatively express themselves than those who are more passive. Therefore, people who struggle with gaps in creativity or are often overwhelmed can truly benefit from occasional hiking that will relieve them from their tension and clear their thoughts.
6. Hiking Boosts Problem-Solving Skills
Problem-solving comes hand in hand with the creativity boost. This shows to prove that by performing this interesting and beneficial walking activity, you are more likely to grasp the root of your problems and come up with an effective and creative solution. A hike in Mother Nature is known to boost the problem-solving skills and reduce the mental fatigue people face on a daily basis.
7. Hiking Takes You Away from Distractions
This might not be a direct benefit on the mental health of the individual, but it is actually the reason why all the benefits above happen when you hike. Many people prefer the hiking activity over any indoor exercise routine, such as cardio at home or an hour at the gym.
When you’re at home or at the gym exercising to keep your body into shape and healthier, you’re constantly distracted by your TV, your phone, other people, etc. In fact, many people use their phones or other technology to keep themselves busy while exercising.
This is not good for the mental health. The reason why hiking is so effective is because it takes people away from distractions and in the calmness of Mother Nature. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you turn off your phone while hiking to truly reap the mental health benefits it offers.
Have you tried hiking before? If you haven’t, the seven reasons above are surely more than enough to make you want to test this amazing tactic for boosting your mental health and overall well-being. Hiking is an all-natural, highly beneficial treatment for stress and anxiety, as well as a great way to remain active and keep your body in a great shape.
Bryan Davis is a Master in Biology and a full-time writer. His favorite topics are health and lifestyle and he is known as one of the best nutritionists on the web. Thanks to his deep knowledge of psychology, biology, and human body, he’s an excellent teacher for all those who want to learn how to live a healthier life.