by Wade Ellett, Lets Move Quad Cities’ QC Outside Blogger
Interested in hitting a hiking trail? Good for you … because hiking is a great way to boost your health, energy and mood. Here’s why:
1. Hiking is good for your health.
Research has shown that exposure to nature enhances the immune system. That’s right, you become healthier just by spending time outside. Check this out: doctors are now prescribing hiking!
You can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, lower blood pressure, help build or maintain lean muscle, strengthen your bones, and prevent weight gain.
Taking a weekly or bi-weekly hike can boost your ability to fight off sickness and improve respiratory, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal health.
2. Hiking improves your attitude.
Just like nature will improve your physical health, it will improve your mental health as well.
Hiking reduces stress, wards off negative feelings, combats depression, and boost one’s sense of well-being. Both walking and being outside have been shown to reduce anxiety and fight depression, and even 30 minutes of exercise can activate endorphins that reduce pain and stress, as well as improve your mood.
In short, hitting the trail is going to make you feel great.
3. Hiking is accessible.
There are tons of places to go in the Quad Cities area, free of charge, easily within driving or walking distance.
One of my frequently visited trails, at Black Hawk State Historic Site, is less than 10 miles from my home. There are parks and trails in and around the area, so that one never has to travel far to start putting miles on their shoes.
There are paved options available for the beginner, the disabled, or those who want to bring children or push a stroller.
If you want to bring your dog, they’re welcome at plenty of places, just be sure to keep them leashed and clean up after them.
You don’t need expensive gear or training to get started, you just have to give it a try. Hiking is for everybody, so don’t be intimidated if you’re just starting out.
4. Hiking is fun!
Hitting the trail on a beautiful day isn’t just good for you, it’s a fantastic way to spend the day!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran hiker or it’s your first time on the trail, hiking is a great way to get outside and see some of the beauty our area has to offer.
At the end of the day, it’s the fact that hiking is fun that makes it so good for you; we could burn more calories per hour in the gym or by running, but I’m much more likely to spend 3 hours on the trail than lifting weights or running sprints.
The best exercise is the one that you’ll do, and since hiking is fun, you’re likely to stick with it!
Learn more about Wade Ellett and his joy of hiking at Intrepiddailly.com
|Meet Wade Ellett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Outdoor Blogger. Wade is a John Deere Digital Archivist and an outdoor adventurer who shares his passion for QC outdoor adventures here! Read his other posts by clicking here.|