I'd Hike That State Of Mind
Updated: Mar 11
I have never considered myself an outdoorsy person but lately I have been enjoying a lot of outdoor activities including my new favorite, hiking. According to WebMD, hiking has several health benefits including lowering your risk of heart disease, improving balance, blood pressure, and building strength in your core, glutes, and legs. I am all for these physical benefits but the what I have appreciated the most is the positive effect on my state of mind.
I live in a mountainous area with steep hills and valleys. My driveway is one of those steep hills, so much so that I affectionately call it Pikes Peak. I used to dread walking the dog because it was not an enjoyable leisurely walk. It is slippery in the winter and hell to climb up and down the steep hills. In order to build my endurance, I started hiking a few months ago. As time has gone on, I have built up my endurance and now I hardly even notice those steep hills anymore.
In addition, to my improving physical strength, hiking has also been my go to activity for stress reduction. No matter how bad my day is going, a hike long or short helps to shift my mindset to a better place. It's a combination of doing something that builds strength and experiencing nature's beauty - the trees, fresh air, sound of birds chirping and occasionally the burbles of a creek bubbling over the rocks and sticks.
It's been a little slice of heaven that takes me away from all of the day to day stressors. It has also been rewarding to see my progress at trying something new and empowering to know that I can achieve new heights.
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