We’ve probably all been told to take a hike at some point or another—it may have been a joking remark from a friend, or serious advice from your doctor. Either way, you should take the request literally, as hiking is proven to have many health benefits, according to a 2014 Huffington Post article.
Aside from the obvious benefit of getting some exercise and fresh air, the article mentions positive reasons to hike ranging from increased cognitive ability to helping you heal quicker naturally. Let’s explore five reasons to take steps toward planning a hike whether it’s summer, winter, fall or spring…
1. Reduce Depression
A study posted on The National Center for Biotechnology Information website notes that hiking not only reduces depression and boosts overall mental health, it can even be used in extreme cases including patients at risk of suicide.
The publication notes that depressed patients are more likely to stay indoors or lead inactive lifestyles, and that hiking helps these individuals overcome this while also increasing their physical fitness with as little as 2 hikes per week. The study notes that the patients may include more physical activity in all areas of their life when they are accustomed to outdoor exercise.