Benefits of Hiking.

hiking with friends logo

The warm sunshine on your face, the sound of the wind rushing through the trees overhead, and the soft earthy feel of the trail under your boots. Not only are these experiences enjoyable to have, but they’re good for you, too.

Hiking is proven to have many health benefits, ranging from physical exercise you get when out on the trail, to emotional or mental relief that comes from being in nature.

hikers in the distance hiking up red rocks
Hiking in Canyonlands National Park

NPS Photo / M. Reed

Physical Exercise

Hiking is one of the best ways to get exercise. No matter what type of trail you find yourself on, hiking is a great whole-body workout—from head to toe and everything in between.

Check out all of these physical benefits of hiking:

  • Building stronger muscles and bones
  • Improving your sense of balance
  • Improving your heart health
  • Decreasing the risk of certain respiratory problems

Whether you find yourself scrambling up a steep incline or walking on a winding dirt path, hiking in our national parks is the perfect opportunity to get a work out!

backpackers on a mountain top
Hiking at Wrangell St. Elias Park & Preserve

NPS Photo

Mental Health

Being in nature can boost your mood and improve mental health. Spending quality time in the great outdoors reduces stress, calms anxiety, and can lead to a lower risk of depression, according to a study done by researchers at Stanford University. In addition to having mental health benefits, being outdoors opens up your senses to your surroundings and improves your sensory perception. Taking in the sights, smells, and feelings of nature has so many health benefits it can even be prescribed by a doctor.

A man with a child on his shoulders walk down a dirt trail
Hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

NPS Photo / Jackson

Relational Health

You don’t have to go it alone next time you lace up your hiking boots. Grab a friend, neighbor, or family member for more fun on the trail. Hiking with a partner, or even in a group, can improve the strength and health of your relationships. Because hiking ranges in difficulty from an extremely challenging climb to a casual way of spending time outside, it’s a great way to strengthen the friendships or bonds you have with your companions. Whether it’s with a younger sibling, neighborhood friend, or even a grandparent, hiking a trail together can bring you closer and help build a healthy relationship.

A hiker stands with outstretched arms, behind her a blue lake in the distance
Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

Photo courtesy of Hilary Terrell

Take a Hike

National parks and their many health benefits are open to anyone, no matter who you are and where you come from. There are more than 400 national parks for you explore across the country, and each one presents its own unique opportunities for experiencing nature. Don’t be afraid to lace up your boots and grab a walking stick. The opportunities and benefits of hiking are waiting for you, all you have to do is go.

Error
This video doesn’t exist

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.