By Momina Aftab
Nature offers therapy in many forms, one of the most invigorating of them being hiking. If I had a dollar for every time I got told by my elders to ‘walk it off’ whenever I felt anxious or ill, I would definitely be a millionaire. It is a universally acknowledged practice; a cure-it-all hack to deal with any kind of problem; be it emotional, mental or physical. How does that work? Let us list down the reasons as to why you need to feed your soul with a good hike every now and then.
Instant endorphin and serotonin rush
We all see a meme or two about ‘where to get that sarah-tonin’ on our social media timelines every day and there’s no better, foolproof way to get it than hiking. It helps in cleansing your mind of all the negative, self-destructive thoughts, focus on what really matters and get your creative juices flowing. Trust me, your attention span is bound to increase and you will get a sense of clarity we all desperately crave.
Great work out with a great view
For those of us who lack the motivation or strength to go to gym, hiking is a great work out option. It covers all aspects of your body that need exercise to function normally and productively and fulfils your essential dose of nature at the same time. It improves cardio-respiratory fitness including heart, lungs and blood vessels, muscle strength, bone density, sleep quality and weight control. It also boosts your immune system
Physical and spiritual healing
Hiking has been effectively proven to help patients with serious health conditions such as cancer heal better and flourish after a long period of idleness. Psychologically, it helps patients with such diseases come back to life and clear their minds of all repetitive, negative energy.
Less screen, more scenery
With the world getting increasingly dependent on digital media and technology with each passing day, it has become incredibly important to unplug sometimes and regain some sense of perspective. A long hike in a beautiful landscape is the key to remind yourself of all the wonders nature has to offer and keep your sanity intact. With our attention spans decreasing day by day and our mobility evidently reduced, there is no better fix than to have an energizing hike every week or two.
Great way to socialize
One of the most least talked about benefits of hiking is how it provides a wonderful opportunity to socialize with your friends and colleagues. It is an all-inclusive activity that caters to both brisk walkers and intense hikers or plain nature lovers. You can hit up people you haven’t seen in a while, invite friends of friends or just simply make a weekend plan with your colleagues followed by a nice BBQ party or a picnic with homemade foods to go with. It is also a great way to make new friends, share space with like-minded individuals through local hiking groups, thus enabling you to expand your social circle and have nothing but good vibes around you.