From losing weight to preventing osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and blood pressure, hiking may just be the best choice for a comprehensive workout which benefits the mind, body and spirit. In addition to physical fitness, hiking offers benefits that can’t be found on a treadmill or within the confines of a gym. Fresh air, loads of sunshine and even dirt beneath one’s feet can improve cognitive function while decreasing anxiety and depression. According to a 2007 study in London- Mycobacterium vaccae that is commonly found in soil, is known to stimulate the same neurons in the brain that Prozac does. It has been reported that cancer patients have a brighter mood and better quality of life when exposed to this particular bacteria.
A mile a day is all it takes to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s for seniors by about 50 percent. A study done in 2010 by the University of Pittsburg determined walking a mile a day increases gray matter, including the frontal lobe where higher brain function such as problem-solving and reasoning take place. So it’s never too late to start. Just by taking regular hikes, your aging process can be reversed, add an hour of physical activity, your chances of premature death can be reduced to 40 percent.
Hiking not only lowers the risk of heart disease and counteracts years which were brought on by a stressful lifestyle- hiking also strengthens the heart, lightens the mind, and soothes the soul.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.