Hiking Outside Improves Your Health and Makes You Happier

We all know that working out on a regular basis can improve your heart health and allow for greater blood circulation, but did you know that where you work out can make a difference? You don’t have to join an expensive gym in order to achieve your goal of great health and happiness. As it turns out, you have everything you need to be on your way to overall well-being the moment you step outside your door.

According to Prevention, taking a moment to walk outdoors will not only provide you with a multitude of health benefits, but it will also keep you both motivated and happy. Chemicals like serotonin and dopamine serve to lift your mood and they are released when you exert energy through brisk walking. Experts even take this a bit further by suggesting that you walk outside because it will reduce rates of depression more effectively than walking indoors.

You may not realize this, but when you walk outdoors you are breathing fresh air which assists in improving your heart and blood flow, and you are also allowing yourself to receive the benefit of vitamin D from the sun. As you walk, your heart will beat faster which will allow your blood to pump more—which is good because it will help to decrease blood pressure levels. This leads to improving your chances of avoiding such things as heart attack and lung cancer. If health isn’t enough to get you up and out of the house, just think about this: Your looks will improve the moment you start your outdoor walking regiment.

When you go outside and begin your brisk walk, don’t fret over the amount of sweat that you get. Remember, sweat increases the production of a protein called collagen that works to keep your skin smooth and elastic. So regular walks outdoors can not only help you to feel your best, but it can also help to make you look your best.
There are those who feel that working out inside of a gym will somehow make them gain a better advantage health-wise than those who merely walk outside on a daily basis. This can’t be further from the truth. Many studies have shown that unlike biking, lifting weights or swimming, walking is a light impact workout that strengthens your bones and protects you from osteoporosis and fractures. Additionally, walking does not put pressure on your joints the way weight workouts or jogging can.

If you are still not convinced that a brisk outdoor walk is better for you than anything that could be offered inside of a gym, just keep in mind the beauty that will surround you. Clinical studies have shown that nature has its own frequencies and vibrations that work with our own to assist in our ability to feel more grounded and at peace. This is why you can attend a nature garden and suddenly feel relaxed with little effort.

Walking while taking in the beautiful nature that surrounds you will help you to live in the moment and put to rest most of the things that cloud your mind, such as mental chatter. Allowing nature to work with you in your attempt to be at peace will prove to be your best decision yet.

What are you waiting for? Get up, grab your walking shoes and go outside. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the great outdoors, and you don’t have to be young to enjoy the benefits of a brisk outdoor walk. All it takes is your decision to live your best life… with a little help from our nature friends. Happy trails!

– By Kathleen LeSage

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