This hiking information was passed on to me, and I think it is important enough to pass on to anyone who might be interested in health and wellness. It is from “Five Ways Hiking Is Good For You,” by Jill Suttie, GreaterGood.Berkeley.edu.
- Hiking keeps your mind sharper than many other forms of exercise. It involves something that many other forms of exercise don’t: trails. It means navigating a world that isn’t entirely predictable. All the things you might encounter on a trail require micro and macro adjustments to your route, which is good for your brain.
- Hiking helps you stay calm and happy. Studies have shown that, compared to walking in a cityscape or along a road, walking in green spaces helps us recover from “attention overload” – the mental fatigue that comes from a world where computers and cell phones are a constant.
- Hiking helps your relationships. Research suggests that exposure to nature can help our relationships by making us more empathetic, helpful and generous.
- Hiking can increase our creativity. Young adults tested in an Outward Bound program before and after spending three days hiking in nature showed increased creative thinking and problem solving after the experience.
- Hiking helps cement a positive relationship with the natural world. Hiking indirectly benefits our planet, as it strengthens our connection with nature. Developing a positive relationship with the natural world can help us care about its fate. This means hiking can be mutually beneficial, helping people and the earth.
- To all of this I would like to add: before you hit the trail, get comfortable, well-fitting shoes and walk a few miles in them. Remember that your feet swell a bit after a few miles, so you might want shoes half a size larger than your normal shoe size. Most hikers prefer ankle height, but some opt for lower walking/running shoes.
You are probably going to get wet feet – don’t plan to walk very far with wet feet as this most likely causes blisters. So take extra socks, large bandages, moleskin and even duct tape and cover the hot spots before they become blisters. Many hikes were ruined due to blisters. Good road.