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Lake District Lovers

The Health Benefits of Hiking

north western fells

For anyone who’s a keen hiker, you’ll already be aware of the incredible benefits of hiking and mountain climbing. But for anyone who hasn’t yet discovered this great form of exercise, you’ve yet to experience the positive impact it has on your wellbeing first hand.

Physical Benefits of Hiking

  • Improves the performance of your circulation, lungs and heart
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Lowers blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, asthma, some cancers and strokes
  • Helps fight obesity

Our mental health makes up a huge part of our overall wellbeing and it not only affects how we think and feel emotionally, but it can also impact our physical health, too. Hiking is a fabulous aerobic exercise which releases endorphins from the brain and nervous system, and these wonderful hormones can lift our mood and help fight against anxiety, stress and depression.

Mental Health Benefits of Hiking

  • Helps us to focus our mind
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Gives us a great sense of achievement
  • Helps us to become more creative
  • Improves cognitive function and memory
  • Helps protect against dementia.

Climb your way out of Depression

If you suffer from stress or depression, you’ll find the advantages of hiking will significantly reduce your symptoms. As well as the benefits that are listed above, it’s also a good way to set yourself personal goals. You don’t have to start big, you can start off with easier, gentler routes that let you build up your fitness levels. If you push yourself too hard to begin with, you might just put yourself off ever hiking again. And like with most things, the first steps are always the hardest to take.

If you suffer from loneliness and you’re too afraid to go it alone, there are plenty of hiking groups available online that introduce you to people in a similar situation as yourself. You’ll also find lots of walks throughout the UK so wherever you’re based, there will be something close by. The UK is filled with incredible summit walks, from the Lake District and Snowdonia National Park to the Peak District. The Ramblers is a UK based charity where you’ll find local walking groups and routes online. Alternatively, you could look up Walk4Life which is another online resource packed with everything you need to get you started.

Once you’re ready to embark on your first hiking adventure, you’ll be able to appreciate the sublime views from the mountain tops, where you’ll literally feel on top of the world. Once you’ve reached your first summit, you’ll immediately notice a change in your mood. The more you hike, the fitter you’ll get and the more enjoyable the climbs will become. So, what’s stopping you? Get out there and start reaping the health benefits of hiking.

Good luck!

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