Hiking just might be the best way to motivate you to exercise longer and give your mood a boost! Studies show that just being in nature can promote your health. Being in the Green Mountains of Vermont and hiking on forest trails with beautiful lookouts and serene waterfalls can do wonders for your mind and body.
Hiking will motivate you to get a longer workout. Let’s say you start walking and you’d like to log 3 miles for the day. You have the choice to run outside on a path that winds around a lake or head to the gym and get busy on a treadmill. Which one will give you a better, longer workout? Most likely, the outdoor exercise.
Why? It’s so easy to hop off the treadmill and go home. Outdoors, however, you still have to get yourself back to your starting point by your own power, even if you slow down. In the end, this serves as a good mental trick you can use to help you break down your goal into smaller parts. Commit yourself to the halfway or turnaround point; once there, you can focus on finishing what you’ve begun.
Here are a few more advantages of hiking to consider:
More thorough, more efficient: Outside, even subtle changes to the terrain can help build leg and ankle muscles while you’re hiking. In addition to getting physical exercise, studies show that just the act of being in nature will improve your long-term health outcome.
Vitamin D: You’ve heard a lot of talk about the benefits of taking a vitamin D supplement — doing so can prevent cancer, lower the risk of osteoporosis, boost your immune system and so on. As this article from Harvard points out, it is true that Vitamin D is essential to health and it’s difficult to obtain through your food. It’s not known, however, if supplements can deliver the D goods just as well as the sun. You can get all the D your body needs for one week just by exposing your skin to the sun for 15 minutes. Of course, be sure you are slathering on plenty of sunscreen for the remainder of the time.
It’s just happier: This fact is very plain and simple: people who exercised outdoors in a natural setting came away with higher levels of satisfaction than those who had a similar workout indoors, according to a study. The outdoor exercisers also reported a greater sense of well-being and had stronger intentions to repeat the activity.
Experience for yourself the difference that exerting yourself outdoors can make in regard to your strength, endurance and state of mind. Not sure when to start? Looking for a way to get a healthier activity in a new setting? At New Life Hiking Spa, we offer an affordable, all-inclusive package that includes three different levels of daily hikes and treks to challenge your body and renew your spirit with amazing scenery. Plus, you get other fitness activities, healthy food and massages all included in your stay so you don’t need to think about anything else as you begin a new habit of exercising outdoors.