When you get back from a hike, you feel more relaxed, you have more energy, but do you know why?
If you haven't been hiking much lately, you'll be tempted to hit the trails again after learning about these benefits.
Mental Health Benefits
1) You will feel happier and more relaxed
Effects on your spirit may appear self-evident, considering how you feel, but simply being surrounded by nature will make you feel good. The University of Chiba in Japan carried out a study that proved that people who spent time in the open air were more relaxed and happy. They were able to demonstrate this when participants in this study were in a forest, their stress indicators dropped (slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and cortisol rates). Combined with better oxygenation of the brain, all of this increases your well-being.
2) You will be 50% more creative
The brain is stimulated by the wide open spaces, the beauty of the landscape, mountaintops and lush greenery. If you take the opportunity to switch off your phone, you're doing great good for yourself. Researchers from the Universities of Kansas and Utah even discovered that after spending several days in nature without a mobile phone, creativity increased by 50%, as did the ability to find creative solutions to a problem. Of course, hiking is also excellent for your body!
Physical Health Benefits
3) You will strengthen your immune system
An endurance activity that adapts to everyone's ability, unlike more intense sports, plays a role in the general improvement of the immune system. This is in part thanks to the molecules secreted by the plants and trees: phytoncides.
4) You will easily maintain your muscle mass
Hiking can be enjoyed for long periods, and without overdoing it, hiking won't exhaust the body too much. However, it is a comprehensive form of exercise, with extra focus on the lower body, but doesn't strain the joints. This makes it a great sport to maintain muscle tone. Ensure you do not overload your bag and evenly distribute the weight using our article and video here.
5) You will lower bad cholesterol
Hiking regularly reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, improving the health of your arteries and reducing your arterial pressure.
6) Your bones will age better and less quickly
This activity prevents osteoporosis thanks to its effect on the bones and joints. Bone density will increase therefore reducing the risk of fractures. Think about using poles to take pressure off knees and help you with climbs and descents. To find out how to adjust and use hiking poles, see here. You will also stock up on vitamin D with natural exposure to sunshine! Ensure you avoid sunburn though and receive just an adequate amount of sun so you don't bear the consequences of overexposure. As with all sports activities, we suggest practicing hiking regularly in order to enjoy all the benefits of hiking. Waking three times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes is ideal. If you stop hiking, you will lose the benefits after three to six months.
Now that you have no more excuses, easily take up hiking again with our Quechua gear and improve your health surrounded by nature!What benefits does hiking provide for you? Share with us what you love about hiking!