Have you ever gone out for a hike when you’re feeling depressed or anxious? Have you noticed that while you’re out enjoying the beautiful scenery and nature, your negative mindset just ups and disappears? Well, there’s an excellent explanation for this, and we’ve got the science to back it up. In fact, hiking isn’t only a great form of exercise, but it also provides a variety of other added health benefits.
Going out for a walk in nature can help improve your mental well-being, improve your concentration levels, reduce stress, and even boost creativity. To find out more about the health benefits of taking a walk in the great outdoors, have a read through our list of top science-backed reasons to go hiking.
Hiking in a Natural Environment Lessens Negative Thoughts
When you go out for a walk in nature, you experience neural activity in a part of your brain that’s linked to mental health issues. It’s not just the act of hiking that improves your mindset; your location is also a significant factor. It’s been proven that those hiking the same distance in a natural environment fare better than those who are walking in an urban environment.
It Boosts Your Concentration
Just like our muscles, our brain can suffer from fatigue. Urban living can be straining and stressful; there’s always something needing your attention, and the constant noises can be difficult to tolerate.
One scientific study found that walking through busy, built up areas causes irritation and frustration, whereas walking through open land and greenery allows the brain to be calmer. This meditative state helps our brains not to feel fatigued and enables us to concentrate on the finer things in life.
It Helps Improve Your Cholesterol and Prevent Heart Disease
In America alone, 2,600 people die from cardiovascular disease every day. Doctors link many of these deaths to obesity, but you don’t have to be overweight to have high cholesterol levels. Hiking can dramatically decrease your cholesterol levels and prevent your chance of getting heart disease.
It Can Reduce Stress Levels
If caffeine or alcohol is your way of coping at work, why not try and go out for more hikes instead. Being outdoors and walking through nature helps to reduce the stress that you can feel after a day of work.
A good hike through nature also helps you to get a better sleep in the night time so you can wake up for work more refreshed than ever. Reducing your stress levels also reduces your blood pressure; don’t let work affect your health.
Hiking in Nature Can Improve Your Creativity
There’s a quote by Nietzsche where he said ‘All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.’ This saying couldn’t be truer. Hiking through the great outdoors allows us to feel stress-free, and our concentration levels soar.
Hiking gives us some time ourselves; we can take in nature around us and allow our creativity to flow. Who knows, you may just come up with a multi-million-dollar business idea.