Studies have shown that hiking can be used as additional therapy for those who suffer from severe depression. Helping to increase self-esteem and self-perception hiking can make life happier overall.
Hiking is proven to make you more creative. Studies show that up to a 50% increase in problem solving and creativity after a hike.
Hiking is proven to decrease and treat high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Some studies suggest that long distance hiking improves your antioxidative capacity which helps fight off disease.
Being physically active can increase your lifespan. Studies show that regularly active people are likely to live several years longer than inactive people.
"Hiking renews your sense of independence and control," adds Jenifer Joy Madden. "While you are hiking you are constantly making decisions and following your curiosity. Those vital skills are often left untapped at work when we are always following orders and stepping to the rhythm of other peoples' drums."
Reconnecting with nature can do wonders on your mental health. "As human animals, we are truly different from the machines we so often use," Madden explains. "We are of nature, so being with nature helps us to feel whole. It also revives our senses, which are what give us our strength and set us apart from digital devices."
Hiking gets you upright and on your two feet. Continuing bipedal locomotion will better your posture, strengthen your spine and joints, and therefore remove stress on your body and mind.
Getting out into nature will remove you from the environmental toxins and pollution that exists in the more urbanized world. Also, light and being outdoors tends to make people happier.
Hiking keeps you very fit. Just the physical activity of hiking on an incline for extended periods can burn some major calories. But, a recent study found that Americans who live at sea-level are four to five times more likely to be obese in comparison to those who live in high altitude communities.