Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

If you have been hiking or are an avid hiker you know that hiking can cleanse your mind, body, soul and recents discovers are telling us it can actually change your brain! It is true hiking is really good for you. 

Negativity and Obsession Are Reduced 

Many of us deal with negativity whether it is with friends, family, work, business, etc and the outdoors is a great remedy. It can actually reduce rumination and make you feel happier. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin. They also found that the individuals that hiked through natural environments were reported to have lower rumination levels as opposed to those who hiked in urban. 

The report essentially noted that increased urbanization is related to increased depression and other mental illness. Taking our time to remove ourselves from urban settings and spending more time in nature can greatly benefit both your mental and physical well-being. 

Creativity Improves Without Technology 

A study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. The participants in the study went hiking through nature for four days and had drastic differences. They were removed of all technology. They were required to perform tasks that required creative and critical thinking. Researchers found that their problem solving abilities improved by 50% for who participated in the non-technology challenge. 

Great for Exercise and Brain Power 

We are all familiar that exercise is great for our well-being. It is a great way to burn 400-700 calories per hour, depending on your size and difficulty of hike. It is easy on your joints. it has been proven that individuals who hike outside are more likely to stick to it than whose those spend time exercising inside. A study by University of British Columbia stated, "Aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume — the part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory — in women over the age of 70. It essentially helps prevent memory loss. Another study states, it can lower stress and anxiety, boost self esteem, and release endorphins.

As you can see hiking is extremely beneficial for you! We do recommend that you get the proper gear for your hiking adventure. Some of the gear you will need are things like hiking shoes, a hat, and a water bottle, extra layer of clothing, trekking poles and more. 

For proper hiking gear be sure to check out our store

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