Feel the Ground Beneath You!

Hiking has proven to make adults lead a happier, healthier, and more energy-filled life. What’s better than getting energized from caffeine? Hiking in nature! All hikers do have to tolerate some bug bites, bruises, and blisters to enjoy quality time with nature but trust me, it is so worth it! For example, this past month, I joined the ranks of many other nature walkers and went hiking with my family in Lake Tahoe, California.

 

 

When I was in San Francisco, we went to a few hiking trails, and it was very relaxing. Hiking helped us freshen up, and it was even better when we could smell the fresh air. I felt like I got so much energy afterwards, and the cold shower after we were done felt amazing. My parents being almost 50 years old felt like they were more mentally refreshed. My dad said that connecting with nature felt really nice and he thinks it could help with depression. Well, he is correct! Hiking and getting involved with nature helps you feel less hopeless. It helps people who are suffering lead a healthier lifestyle. Studies show that people who do not spend much time in nature have more mental health issues. People who go to parks and on walks have lower levels of stress. However, just doing that is not good enough. You really have to make sure you put away the electronics when you are in nature. You are not getting all of the benefits if you’re on your cellphone. This is not only a rule for people with mental health issues, but for all of us! Hiking helps us all in many ways. It can make us feel peaceful and teach us how to really connect with ourselves.

According to an article published in the widely respected Physical Activity and Public Health journal, healthy adults need to engage in moderately intense aerobic activities for a minimum of 30 minutes at least five days a week in order to maintain sound health. Adults are highly recommended to keep good health by doing exercise to strengthen muscles, and this can be something as fun as hiking.

Hiking works your leg muscles and is far more effective than simply walking. This is because you are more heavily working your leg muscles. Many people in the US have health issues because they do not exercise enough. The Physical Activity and Public Health journal mentions that less than 49.1% of U.S. adults met the CDC physical activity recommendation. Hiking trails are a fun and good way to exercise. Even in your free time, you should be active. Sitting around makes you lazier and you are less likely to get up and do something else later. Being active can even include going on vacations and other things. However, we eat a lot when we are out, so it’s important that we exercise on vacation as well. In a research article published at Claremont University, we see that the Appalachian Trail is a good example of a National Park that we can hike on. Many people want good scenery when exercising, and this park is perfect.

Now, does this make you want to hike? If so, get ready to hear the crunch of leaves beneath your feet. Hiking is not as hard as you may think, and it is even better if you pair up with someone. That way, both of you can experience the beautiful world underneath!


For further reading: 

  • Bosche, Lucy. “Woman Into The Wild: Female Thru-Hikers and Pilgrimage on the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails” Scripps Senior Thesis, Page 203., doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720
  • Kastenholz, Elisabeth and Aurea Rodrigues. “Discussing the Potential Benefits of Hiking Tourism in Portugal, Anatolia.” 18:1, Pages 5-12., doi.org/10.1080/13032917.2007.9687033 
  • Haskell, William. “Physical activity and public health: Updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association.” Faculty Publications, Pages 1423-1434., doing.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e3180616b27

 

 

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