Experts tell us that hiking* comes with an abundance of mental and physical perks. The Huffington Post article, “Proof That Hiking Makes You Happier and Healthier” ( July 2014) points out what hikers can teach us about leading happier, healthier lives:
Hikers are creative. Spending time outdoors unplugged from technology increases attention span and creative problem-solving skills by up to 50 percent.
Hikers are fit. Hitting the trails is a great way to get a serious workout without putting too much pressure on your joints because trails are often softer than asphalt or concrete.
Hiking heals. Long distance hiking trips may improve antioxidative capacity, which helps fight off disease.
Hikers are happier. Depressed? Go for a hike. “Being out in nature, away from the business of our daily lives and technology, can allow people to connect with themselves and nature in a way that brings about peace and a sense of well-being,” says Leigh Jackson-Magennis, REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach New England Market Manager.
You don’t have to live in the mountains of Colorado to go for a hike. Even urban areas like New York City and D.C. have green spaces for short hikes. Do some local research and you might be surprised at the wonderful hiking options right in your back yard. I did a quick search for easy hikes in Maine on the Appalachian Mountain Club website and the opportunities were endless.
After a hike, it’s normal to have sore, tired feet and legs. A foot warmer pad or a pair of foot warmers booties might help. To add a little fun, try a Comforting Creature warmer such as a Black Bear or Moose.