After a year of being cooped up indoors, you’re probably feeling a little stir-crazy. Your kids are probably feeling that way, too! Fortunately, there are ways to get out and enjoy the benefits of outdoor activity together this spring and summer, including hiking. Here are five great reasons to take family hikes.
Health Benefits of Hiking
Hiking gets your heart pumping, is full of interesting scenery, and is the perfect activity for social distancing. It also provides the five following health benefits:
- Lowers your risk of heart disease
- Boosts your bone density
- Improves your blood pressure levels
- Builds strength in your lower legs, glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps
- Lowers your risk of obesity
These are just five of the most notable reasons to go hiking with your family this summer. Hiking with others is typically more enjoyable than hiking alone and can help boost your entire family’s health and wellness this season.
You Can Get Smarter by Hiking
Did you know hiking can actually make you smarter? If connecting those two things seems like a bit of a stretch, allow us to explain.
Researchers discovered that hiking leads to measurable changes in the brain. The combination of increased blood flow and exposure to nature helps improve oxygen and glucose delivery to the brain. People who hike frequently tend to be more creative in their thoughts and have an easier time problem solving
So, if you’re struggling with brain fog or if you just feel like your creative juices just aren’t flowing, get outside and take a hike with your family. If you do this regularly, you’ll notice that you’re able to maintain sharper focus and think through problems more easily.
Hiking Makes You Happy
Have you ever noticed how much happier you feel after hiking? You may feel physically tired, but chances are you also feel a mood boost from your outdoor adventures. This is because hiking helps reduce stress by physically removing you from the stressors in your life. When you’re out romping around with the trees and birds, it’s hard to focus on the things back home that are giving you anxiety.
Another way hiking makes you happy is by boosting your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that elevates your mood. Hiking also increases your body’s production of endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that can energize you and make you feel more hopeful and positive about life. As you can see, nature really is the best medicine if you’re feeling depressed or anxious.
In a generation that’s heavily influenced by electronics and solo time, it’s more important than ever to bond with family whenever possible. One of the best ways to do that is by putting the electronics away and getting outdoors for a family hike.
These are just a few of the top reasons to plan lots of spring hikes with your family this year. Get outside and go for a hike!