Four young adults out hiking with their backpacks.

Do You Know the 6 Benefits of Hiking?

When you return from a hike, you feel more relaxed and have more energy. Let's explore why. In association with Red January.

Just being outside and taking in the fresh air can have positive benefits on your well-being. Let's explore all the way hiking can benefit you and your health. 

The Benefits Of Hiking On Your Mental Health

You may notice that your state of mind and overall mental health improve when you start hiking. These improvements can happen quite quickly, from your first hike, you should be able to feel a sense of calmness about you. 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 demonstrated 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 a better flow of oxygen to the brain, this increases your well-being.

Try switching off your phone from any outside distractions and really take in the beauty of your hike. 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.

Let's explore how hiking can positively impact your mental health.

  • A lady looking out to a lake.

    #1 You will feel 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.

  • a lady happily piggybacking her male companion.

    #2 Your mood will improve

    Along with feeling more relaxed, a good hike can do wonders for improving your mood. Whether you're stressed, nervous or generally upset about something, taking a break outdoors with some much-needed fresh air can instantly lift your mood.

  • Someone sketching designs of a hoodie.

    #3 You will be 50% more creative

    The brain is stimulated by the wide open spaces and the beauty of the landscape so try to be in the moment so you can soak in all the clarity and inspiration a good hike can offer.

GIF of happy hikers.

The Benefits Of Hiking On Your Body

Unlike more intense sports, an endurance activity that adapts to everyone's ability plays a role in the general improvement of the immune system. This is partly due to the molecules secreted by the plants and trees: phytoncides.

Hiking is a comprehensive exercise with extra focus on the lower body, but it doesn't strain the joints, making this the perfect sport for all ages and skill levels. Think about using poles to take pressure off your knees and help you with climbs and descents.

Along with strengthening your immune system, hiking will also have the following benefits for your body:

  • A lady land man hiking in the woods.

    #4 You will be able to maintain your muscle mass

    Hiking can be enjoyed for long periods of time without overdoing it and exhausting the body. It is a great sport to maintain muscle tone.

  • a lady holding a water bottle.

    #5 Hiking will lower bad cholesterol

    Hiking regularly reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, improving the health of your arteries and reducing your arterial pressure.

  • A man and two kids hiking in the country.

    #6 Hiking helps your bones age better

    Hiking also prevents osteoporosis thanks to its effect on the bones and joints. Bone density will increase therefore reducing the risk of fractures.

As with all sports activities, they must be practised regularly in order to enjoy all the benefits of hiking. Walking 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.

Surround yourself with nature, fresh air and beautiful trails to get the most out of your hiking adventures.

Do You Know the 6 Benefits of Hiking?
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Try Out Hiking This Red January and See how Your Health Improves!

There will be so many great opportunities for you to get involved with various Red January activities. A nationwide movement that aims to empower people to make the very best start to their new year by staying active every day.
 Click here for information.

Register for Red January 2023 HERE