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Benefits of hiking

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Hiking and camping are two excellent ways to enjoy being outdoors, and they are very beneficial to our physical, mental, and social well-being.

Since the pandemic forced people to spend more time indoors than ever before, it only makes sense, now that restrictions are being lifted, for everyone to get outside and take in some fresh air. Hiking and camping are two excellent ways to enjoy being outdoors, and they are very beneficial to our physical, mental, and social well-being. 

Here is a list of the seven greatest benefits of hiking and camping:

1. First up, the obvious, it’s good for your health
Hiking requires much physical activity and is good for your cardiovascular system. Like aerobics, it gets your heart rate up and gives it a good workout. A healthy heart is important for blood pressure and cholesterol control. It also helps increase the production of the happy hormone, serotonin. So not only are you taking steps to get healthy, but you are also making your mind and body happy in the process. 

Many people do not consider camping as exercise, but the processes of pitching a tent, catching food (if you’re really roughing it), hiking, or walking to find food are all physical activities that exercise your mind and body. While you are out enjoying the scenery and relaxing, you are also lowering your risk of heart disease and improving your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

There are many other health benefits of hiking and camping. Maneuvering rocks and steep or hard trails help you improve your balance. And since walking is a weight-bearing exercise, you are improving your bone density and building strength in your legs. Hiking is similar to cross-training because it provides cardiovascular exercise and strength training, so you are getting a great workout and having fun at the same time.

2. Stress relief
Our lives run on stress it seems. If we are not hustling and bustling and doing 10 things at once, we think we are not living, right? But we have got it wrong! When we unplug and step away from our schedules and leave it all behind, it is a breath of fresh air. The quietness of the woods gives us a chance to unwind and relax. Be sure to turn your cell phone off and leave those thoughts of work behind. All you’ve got to do is think about what trail you’re going to trek or how nice it’s going to feel falling asleep under the stars on your camping mattress

3. A healthy environment
Hiking and camping typically take you away from the city and the air and noise pollution and into the woods where the air is cleaner. The further away from the city, the cleaner the air. And clean air is good for your lungs. It opens your lungs because there is an increase in oxygen, and it cleanses them. This helps you release toxins from your lungs as you exhale. Increased oxygen also helps your white blood cells function optimally by fighting bacteria. This, in turn, strengthens your immune system. 

4. Healthy eating
When we camp, we tend to eat healthier food. That’s because there are no fast food places close by usually, so we pack healthier foods to take with us. And it also requires us to cook our own food. Bring your 

Speaking of sleep, camping helps your body return to its natural circadian rhythm. With no computers or smartphones to distract you, and after all of the hiking during the day, people who camp tend to go to bed earlier and get more and better-quality sleep. 

5. Learn new skills
If it is your first time camping, there are new skills you’ve got to learn. Maybe you have never pitched a tent, started your own fire (without the gas starter), or had the need to tie knots or cook your own food over a fire. These are skills most of us did not learn in school, and camping and hiking are enjoyable ways to learn these skills that will become invaluable. Reading travel guides before going for the first time would help a lot but without practice, you will easily forget how to deal with all these outdoor things.

6. Mental health
Getting away from the city and spending time in nature is a great way to reset. It takes you away from the daily tasks and distractions that keep you anxious and gives you an opportunity to evaluate your life and your priorities. It provides a blank space to be inspired, creative and motivated.

Spending time outdoors also improves your mood. Research shows it is a good alternative of therapy for mental health issues because it helps reduce anxiety and depression. It also has a memory-promoting effect, possibly because it stimulates the growth of new neurons. With improved brain function, your concentration improves and you have got more energy.

Even if you don’t want to go for a hard climb or an overnight stay, you can do what is called forest bathing, which is a leisurely visit in the woods. This is believed to aid in relaxation and stress management. 

7. Social health
Hiking and camping are good ways to get away from social media and spend time face-to-face with your friends. You get better conversation and a better connection hanging in person than you do over Instagram and Twitter. Even if you don’t have any friends who want to trek with you, there are plenty of people you can meet on the trail who, obviously, share something in common with you. You may even make new friends. 

Avid hikers and campers will tell you that there is nothing better than spending time outside. From working your heart and muscles while hiking, to clearing your mind while sitting by a stream or relaxing by a fire you started yourself, to falling asleep under the stars on your camping mattress, hiking and camping are not only fun, but they are also beneficial to your health.

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