natureoutdoorsRecreation Therapy

4 Reasons Why Hiking Can Be Better Than Walking

by Diana Proemm


When you walk the road or a concrete trail similar movement patterns happen in our body and if you are not mindful muscle and joint issues may develop. I know that when I walk on an even surface my hip and knee start to hurt faster when I walk on concrete, so I attempt to find a trail instead. I recently read an article in Prevention Magazine about nutritious movements that I thought was quite brilliant. It was written by Katy Bowman from Nutritious Movements who spreads the word about changing your daily habits to include more movement in different ways.

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1. Strength and Balance

Hiking on uneven terrain challenges all muscles and joints when maneuvering over rocks and going up and down hills. Your mind and body need to pay a bit more attention to what is happening below the belt to ensure that you don’t fall over, and twist a knee or ankle. Moving along uneven terrain strengthens different micro muscles that may not get used on even terrain.

2. Grounding

If anyone knows me, they know, being on the trail is my happy place. Whenever I feel down, or stress and anxiety are building, I head for the trail. By the time I return to the trailhead, my head is free and clear and I feel grounded. You’ve probably heard the saying “there is no wifi in nature, but you’ll find a better connection.” It’s true, a study has proven that spending regular time in nature aids in positive mental health and well-being.

 

“There is no wifi in nature, but you will find a better connection.”

3. Nature Break

On longer hikes, I like to stop at pretty locations or lookouts and take a break. I make a point to breath and take it all in. I sometimes take a moment to stretch out my muscles especially on long day hikes. I like to do a forward bend, and a few lunges to stretch out the back and hip muscles from tightening up.

4. Creativity

A study shows that spending time in nature can increase your problem solving and creativity. Nature therapy provides clean, holistic health care that does not have any side effects. If you are stuck on a project at work or at home, take a nature break and go for a walk in the woods and bring back your artistic juju.

If you have a choice between hiking on a trail, or walking a beaten path, choose the nature trail. Your mind and body will thank you for it.


Diana is a non-traditionalist who seeks adventures adventure in nature, traveling and exploring wildernesses and forests whenever and wherever she can. 

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