What Hiking Can Do For Your Health

We all know that getting physical exercise is good for our health, but have you ever realized how certain activities tend to provide more health benefits than others? Hiking is one such activity that can bring about many more health benefits than may have been previously thought. Of course, the act of getting up and moving around is obviously a great aspect of hiking when it comes to improving your physical health, but it turns out there are more positive effects that hiking can have on your body than merely providing good exercise, as I learned after coming across a hiking article by Care 2. 

One reason hiking, as opposed to running on a treadmill inside of a gym, is so beneficial to a person’s health is that it is done outdoors. Research has shown that increasing time spent outdoors can do a lot to improve a person’s physical and mental health, and hiking provides a great way to meet this goal. In fact, spending time hiking outside can meet two important health goals: It can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and it can boost immunity by increasing the white blood cell count up to 40 percent. These two benefits go hand in hand, since stress and immunity have been known to be closely linked together. 

Hiking can also have the unexpected benefit of enlarging your social circle. As any hiker will tell you, hiking tends to bring together a core group of people who make this activity a daily ritual if not a weekend one, and many times, people who start hiking on a regular basis will often find themselves running into the same enthusiastic hikers again and again. Hiking with a buddy can make the task seem much easier, and you will probably be less likely to skip out on the exercise when you know someone else is expectingyou. 

Interestingly enough, hiking can also give you a literal and figurative sense of perspective as well. Have you ever noticed how great you feel after making the trek up a large mountain to be rewarded with a brilliant view? This sense of accomplishment can actually improve your emotional state enough to where you feel more confident and able to take on other challenges and tasks in your life. So what are you waiting for? Go take a hike!

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Dangerous…Dan

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.