Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains
Hiking in nature can take you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to say hiking can enrich you physically, emotionally and spiritually is a no-brainer!
So now let’s see what doctors have to say about how hiking can change your brain for the better.
You Get Relief From Obsessive And Negative Thoughts When You Hike:
Hiking is effective against rumination. Those obsessive and negative thoughts you previously had will be released from your thought process and you feel much better.
A recent study that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discovered that the more time spent in nature will reduce any negative and obsessive thoughts you might have and by a quite significant degree.
The study analysed the rumination of subjects that hiked through a natural or an urban setting.
It was discovered that the subjects that hiked for a duration of 90 minutes in a natural setting had lowered neural activity in their subgenual prefrontal cortex, which is an area of their brain linked to mental illness. They also had reduced levels of rumination.
However, the subjects that had hiked in an urban environment had no reduced rumination.
It was concluded by researchers that depression and even mental illness can be directly linked to increased urbanization.
It’s important that if you want to maintain your sanity you should remove yourself from an urban setting as often as possible.
Your Creative Problem Solving Skills Gets A Lift:
Two researchers and psychologists — David L. Strayer and Ruth Ann Atchley discovered that a person’s creative problem solving skills greatly improves when he is separated from technology and reconnected with nature.
They conducted a study that involved some hikers that were told not to carry any gadget in the woods for tour days and complex problem solving tasks as well as creative thinking assignments were given them during that time.
It was found that their creative thinking and problem solving skills improved by as much as 50%.
In conclusion researchers stated that technology and the noise pollution in an urban setting is very disruptive.
It distracts us and reduces our ability to concentrate and focus and this according to the researchers is very demanding to our cognitive functions.
Hiking in nature will therefore free up our minds and enable us focus and concentrate better.
ADHD In Children Ca Be Improved When They Hike In Nature:
ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Children with ADHD find it difficult to stay focused, they are distracted easily and can be quite hyperactive.
Though there are prescription medications for this disorder, these medications may be causing more long-term harm than good.
Researchers, Frances E Kup, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD, discovered that when children with ADHD are exposed to “green outdoor activities” their symptoms are significantly reduced, proving that hiking in nature can be extremely beneficial to your kids with ADHD.
You Exercise When You Hike And Boost Your Brain Power In The Process:
If you want to work out virtually every part of your body, your limbs, muscles, joints, cardiovascular system, respiratory system and digestive system, then hiking is right for you.
You can get to burn about 400-700 calories every 60 minutes, this of course will be dependent on the hike difficulty and your size.
At the University of British Columbia researchers have discovered that aerobic exercises can raise the hippocampal volume which is that portion of the brain that is linked with episodic and spatial memory.
It is believed that for women above 70 years of age aerobic exercises can greatly prevent and improve memory loss problem.
It will also relief anxiety, stress as well as boost one’s self-esteem significantly.
So Start Hiking Today!
You can start hiking as a family today and improve your physical and mental health while promoting better family bonds.
Start with simple less strenuous hikes to get you and your family in the mood and then you can gradually raise the difficulty level as you become more experienced.
Hiking gear is inexpensive, but you can just start will simple walks in to your local park. There are apps that you can use to map out a trail from your home to the park and that can help.
Take a hat, good hiking shoes, and a bottle of water and wear good sports clothes. You should also consider using trekking poles as they are useful in helping you increase your speed as well as easing the strain on your knees.
So what are you waiting for?!
Start Hiking today!!