The Science Behind Why You Should Go Hiking (It Makes You Happier!)

You’ve always wanted to go hiking, but you’re stuck in the office, again.

Maybe the boss has you doing an extra round of edits, or a client wants to make a late conference call. You are in a rut, and your juju has gone on vacation without you. You don’t want to be here. But you can’t get out. How did you create these walls for yourself?

Don’t quit your job — that may not be the best financial move. Just start planning a little getaway. Did you know that there is a simple way to reconnect with yourself and get your passion for life back? It’s to go hiking. And there is even scientific research to back it up.

So get out your hiking gear, camping equipment, and health bars. It’s time to stretch your legs and wander in the wild.

1. Nature Reduces Stress

hiking kids

Hiking gets you back in nature. And that’s important to your physical and mental well-being. Studies from around the world are confirming the positive effects of just spending time outside in nature.

In a recent experiment, participants were assigned to a walk either in an urban area or in a forest. Throughout the study, researchers kept track of the participants’ blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rate variability. Both groups also answered questions concerning their mood state and stress levels.

The results? Those that walked in the forest had much lower heart rates and higher heart rate variability (a sign of reduced stress). The nature group also reported better moods and less anxiety. Clearly, getting back into nature has a much more positive effect than remaining within the city — especially if you’re stuck in an office right now.

2. Hiking Releases Endorphins

go hiking

Hiking is a good form of exercise. When you work out, your body experiences pain or encounters stress. This causes the natural release of endorphins. Considered natural painkillers, endorphins activate opioid receptors in your brain, which leads to feelings of euphoria.

That sounds like something you need right now, doesn’t it? What’s even cooler is that endorphins actually act as analgesics, reducing your perception of discomfort and making you feel great. The receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones pain medicine, like morphine, bind with. Don’t worry about addiction or dependence with hiking, though. You may get hooked, but it’s not like morphine at all.

In the end, to go hiking can not only ward off stress, it can help you feel great about yourself. And that’s all because of the positive chemical changes it creates in your body.

3. Hiking Is a Vacation

hiking benefits

Even if you just take a day hike, your body only understands that you are away from the office. It doesn’t know that you’re not on a full-scale vacation. And you reap the benefits that come with being on vacation. The old adage of out of sight, out of mind still applies.

Recent research has shown that getting away from work helps you physically and mentally. Some findings are quite unique. For instance, a vacation, like a hiking trip, has been found to reduce stress, lower the risk of heart disease, and lead to better sleep.

Even better, getting away from the office and going hiking can actually lead to improved productivity while at work. That’s because happy employees are more productive employees. Yes, you will actually be able to better handle the demands of your job when you return.

Now, tell these findings to your boss and go on that epic hike. If he or she needs to get in touch, make sure to keep your phone charged.

Thankfully, there are plenty of handy travel adapters and chargers like these from BONAZZA™.

4. Hiking and Nature Alleviate Attention Fatigue

couple hiking

The demands of the daily grind may be causing you to lose focus at work. If your tasks are piling up, you may just simply get frustrated. And your attention span will suffer. Taking a step back and going hiking in nature can help you get your focus back.

One research article published by Psychological Science discovered that being out in nature, whether you’re hiking, walking or rafting, carries lots of cognitive benefits, such as attention restoration. This is why the study found that those who went out to nature improved their scores on cognitive tests.

Another research experiment compared the ability of two groups to solve puzzles requiring creativity. The first group went on a four-day hiking excursion; the control group did not. The result was that the group that went hiking was 47 percent more capable of solving these puzzles.

The Research Doesn’t Lie: Go Hiking!

Facts are facts. To go hiking obviously has powerful benefits on your brain and body. In the end, this will give you more energy and make you feel alive. To go hiking gives you the motivation you need to seize the day.

Just remember: When you go out on a hiking trip, no matter how difficult the climb or trek, you have to go prepared. If you just skip work and go straight to the wilderness from there, you could end up in a situation that makes you much less than happy.

So, before you go, get some outdoor supplies from VITCHELO­®, such as a waterproof backpack, camping lantern and laptop light. This way, your needs are taken care of out there, and you can focus on the ONE thing that matters most: being happy.

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