Clear the Mind, Strengthen the Body by Walking or Hiking

Walking can be therapeutic. Consider how hiking calms you after a big fight with a friend. Or how a walk around your neighbourhood sometimes helps you decide on a critical issue at work or at home. Imagine how much more beneficial those walks would be if you took them more often—and amid spectacular places.

But first, should you walk or hike?

Alpenwild.com clarifies that “walking” is in cities and on paved, well-maintained paths while “hiking” is traveling on marked trails. If you want to extend a hike, you could go on a trek, which the travel agency explains is a journey that occurs over several days in more demanding terrain.

But whether you choose to walk through a village or hike through forested trails, an outdoor walkabout will lead to:

Good Exercise

Hiking can strengthen your core and enhance muscles in your hips and legs. Since it’s a weight-bearing workout, you also improve bone density, ensuring a healthy future even in your old age. Hiking can also help to burn calories because you use up more energy walking on uneven terrain.

Improved Balance and Stability

Whether you’re hiking or walking, you’re able to strengthen muscles in your hips, knees and legs. The result is better balance and stability, protecting you from falls.

Better Stress Management

When the body is stimulated through exercise and fresh air, it sends signals to the brain that increases your level of serotonin. This hormone is responsible for social behaviour, affecting moods and sleep patterns. With high levels of serotonin, you’ll keep worries and anxieties at bay.

Your body acclimates to the change of environment and fresh air when you head outdoors. Soon you’ll notice leaves rustling from a distance or hear the faint sound of a rushing stream nearby. The effects of nature on the human body is one of the most amazing facts of science.

So take a walk or go on a hike. Such simple activities can help you heal, energise and rejuvenate your mind and body.