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Healthy Minds: 7 Ways Hiking Can Improve Your Well-being


A person should be doing at least one form of physical exercise regularly to live a long and healthy life. However, it’s too often that when people bring up exercising, it also brings up failed resolutions and promises to one’s self.

This feeling shouldn’t be the case at all. You have to believe that exercise is a non-negotiable in your life.

One way to help you exercise regularly would be to find one that doesn’t feel like exercise. For a lot of people, that would be hiking.

Hiking feels like an adventure, and it helps improve your well-being in different ways. To help you get to know how hiking benefits the body, here are seven ways hiking can help your well-being:

It Clears Your Mind

When talking about your state of wellness, it shouldn’t only be about your overall physical well-being. It should also pertain to the fitness of both body and mind.

Luckily, when you go hiking, you’ll be able to experience both.

Our human mind and soul will crave or enjoy the ability to be out and about in nature. There’s nothing like the quiet stillness that nature provides, after all.

With the constant noise that we surround ourselves in while living in modern society, hiking in the wilderness is a much-needed change.

If you find yourself feeling like your mind is preoccupied 24/7, consider going on a hiking retreat to clear your mind for a while.

It Boosts Your Self Esteem

When you go hiking, especially on longer trips, you have to rely on your ingenuity and physical ability. You can’t rely on the modern conveniences that we take for granted on a day-to-day basis.

If you forget to bring items, you have no one but yourself to blame. Of course, there’s also the other side of that.

The flip side of that is that if you successfully finished an entire hike, you can pat yourself on the back for completing.

Knowing that you only rely on yourself to help you carry through this arduous hiking task will give you self-confidence. When you feel that you have accomplished something, you always boost your confidence, which is what hiking can do for you.

It Helps Improve Sleep

If you’re a regular office worker with a nine-to-five job, you probably don’t get the chance to be under natural light very often. Aside from not getting as much natural light as you should, you probably also don’t move your body around while you’re working.

Since you’re missing both of these in your everyday life, you should do an activity that will help you get back the natural light exposure and exercise you’re missing.

There are plenty of activities that do that for you, but one of those activities would be hiking.

Because hiking exposes you to more natural light and tires out your body in the right way, it has the added benefit of improving your sleep. Exposure to natural light helps your body produce melatonin, which is the sleep hormone.

The exercise is but a push to help you get that much-needed high-quality sleep.

It Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Hiking helps you get to places you would have otherwise not been able to reach. Basking in the beauty of the natural sites can help reduce your anxiety and stress levels.

When you’re on the trail, you only need to worry about getting to your destination. Having this singular goal for the moment allows you to feel less overwhelmed with whatever is going on in your life.

Even studies showed that spending some time surrounded in nature can help lower the risk of depression in people even for a little while.

It Boosts Your Creativity

There’s a reason why many artists from centuries ago to modern-day ones make nature the focus of their art pieces. Nature can help serve as inspiration for when you feel that your creativity is blocked in some way.

Whether you’re an artist looking for inspiration or someone who’s looking to boost their creativity, you have a higher chance of getting both when you surround yourself in nature.

It Improves Brain and Memory Function

Hiking involves a lot of planning and preparation before the trip itself.

During the journey, you also have to remain vigilant and sharpen your navigational skills to get to where you need to go. Hiking isn’t just a physical exercise. It requires you to work your brain hard as well.

Even studies show how hiking can have a positive effect on a person’s memory and cognitive function.

It Fights Off Diseases

Much like any exercise, hiking will help you get your blood running and your heart pumping.

Since it enables you to get your body moving, it will also improve your overall cardiovascular health. The positive health benefits of hiking will increase as you continue to make it a regular thing in your life.

If you’re someone with an ailment who’s interested in going on a hike, make sure that you check with your doctor first.

Also, even if there are no significant inclines on the walk, you should still bring hiking poles with you. You can use it to leverage yourself or help prevent a slip.


When you become an avid hiker, you can find both mental and physical improvements to your health. From sparking creativity to relieving stress and anxiety, a hike’s cognitive benefits are equal to the physical advantages that come with it.

If you feel like you’re overwhelmed by whatever’s going on in your life, try scheduling a few days off to go on a hike.

By improving yourself, you’re also going to enhance your way of life in the long run.

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