3 Unique Benefits With Hiking!

1. Hiking on uneven surfaces encourages muscles to work as stabilizers.
The varied terrain ensures that joints and muscles work in a variety of different positions. This is something that we don’t benefit from on a treadmill.

2. Hiking helps increase your “proprioception”,
which is the mind’s awareness of the position and movement of the body (body control). As you hike, the brain is processing every rock and root and gauging what it will take to step over them. With practice, your brain becomes more adept at judging these obstacles, and as a result, body control (and confidence with movement) improves!

3. Hiking can improve mental health
. Nature has some benefits that gyms and busy city streets lack!

 - A 2015 Stanford University study found that 90-minute nature walks reduced a psychological state called “rumination.” Rumination refers to repeated negative thoughts about ourselves.  The Stanford scientists went a step further and analyzed brain activity among the hikers versus people who walked on city streets.

Hikers had reduced activity in the parts of their brain associated with mental illness and stress. In contrast, urban walkers had higher levels of stress and activity in the anxiety centers of their brain. Study co-author Greg Bratman said researchers are finding more and more evidence that “nature experience increases positive mood and decreases negative mood.”

If you have questions about how you can start hiking and want to have a healthcare professional help you start a healthy hiking program, connect with the team at Physiohaus - we love to hike and would like to help!