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5 Ways Hiking Improves Your Health

Getting outside is an important part of being healthy. Despite recent developments with social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there are still ways to be active and healthy while also being conscious of public health recommendations. One of the best ways is to go hiking. It’s an outdoor activity and you have a lot of space between you and other hikers.

One of Boise’s greatest selling points is its access to outdoor activities. The Ridge to Rivers Trail System in the Boise foothills offers residents over 190 miles of walking and biking trails that are free to use, stretching from Boise’s North End to Eagle. Be sure to follow posted signs about trail closures and to stay on the paths. We want to keep our foothills healthy and beautiful for everyone, for generations to come. Two of the most popular and easy hikes are Camel’s Back and Table Rock. While you hike, these are 5 benefits that you will receive while you are out.

Hiking keeps your mind sharp

All exercise gives you benefits, whether on the elliptical, riding a stationary bike or even walking on a track. You get your heart rate up and bring more oxygen to your muscles as they work. Hiking adds additional benefits. Hiking is a prolonged steady state workout, meaning you keep your heart rate elevated over a long period of non-strenuous exercise. This helps your body burn fat effectively. In addition, hiking gives your brain a workout too. By paying attention to the ground and avoiding obstacles and planning where to put your feet, your brain is working on a strategic level. This has been shown to help with memory and three-dimensional processing.

Hiking can help boost your creativity

Many philosophers and artists throughout history have said that they got their inspiration while walking around outdoors. While you may not write the next great american novel or create new ways of thinking about humanity, walking outdoors has a way of relaxing your mind. The view form the top of Camel’s Back or Table Rock will help you appreciate our amazing city, get away from the stresses of work, and maybe get you through that writer’s block. It can’t hurt.

Hiking helps calm you down and raise your mood

When you feel better, you act better. After working in an office or spending long amounts of time on the phone, going for a hike gets you to unplug from the information overload of our everyday lives. What’s more calming than a light breeze on a sunny spring say with the birds chirping on top of a mountain?

Hiking bolsters your relationships.

We already know that hiking and being outdoors in general is good for your physical and mental health. In addition, it can be good for your interpersonal health as well. Working out with a partner gives you accountability, safety, and an emotional connection. While being a great physical workout, it is also easy to maintain a conversation during a hike. When you walk with someone else or a group of people, you are sharing the experience. Laughing, joking, and maybe a little complaining is a great way to bring people together.

Hiking gets you in touch with nature.

Even though Boise ans the surrounding metro area is a collection of small cities, it is still a great idea to get away from it all and walk through Idaho’s natural beauty. With 190 miles of trails in Boise’s foothills, you will have plenty of nature to take in. And remember, leave the trails better than when you found them. Improving the natural wonders around us helps improve the health of the planet and your own health. Keep yourself healthy and go for a hike.

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