Backpacking is good for the soul. And the brain. And the body. Don't trust us? Here's proof!
#1 You will feel more relaxed and happier
Effects on your spirit may appear self-evident, considering how you feel, but simply being surrounded by nature will make you feel alive. 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 that 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, especially when out in nature for multiple days.
#2 You will be 50% more creative
The brain is stimulated by the wide open spaces, the beauty of the landscape, and if you take the opportunity to switch of your phone, it will be even better! 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. So, the next time you have a problem that you can’t seem to solve, go backpacking!
Of course, backpacking is also very good for your body!
#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
Backpacking can be enjoyed for long periods and depending on the trip you have planned, it does not exhaust the body too much. It is a comprehensive form of exercise with extra focus on the lower body, but doesn't strain the joints. It is a great sport to maintain muscle tone by working a collection of muscles over time.
#5 You will lower bad cholesterol
Hiking and backpacking regularly reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, improving the health of your arteries and reduce your arterial pressure.
#6 Your bones will age better and more slowly
Backpacking also prevents osteoporosis thanks to its effect on the bones and joints. Bone density will increase as physical activity increases, therefore reducing the risk of fractures. If you're one who struggles with join pain, consider using poles to take pressure off knees and help you with climbs and descents.
You will also stock up on vitamin D!
As with all sports activities, it must be practiced regularly in order to enjoy all the benefits of hiking. Walking three times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes is most ideal in enhancing your stamina. If you stop hiking and backpacking, you will lose the benefits after three to six months.
Now that you have no more excuses, easily take up hiking again with our article which helps you choose your route and warm up to fully enjoy great days out!
Don't wait any longer before getting yourself fully equipped for backpacking - your body and overall health with thank you by surrounding yourself in nature!
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