It might be evident that a pleasant hike through a mountain or forest or up the mountain trails could cleanse your body, mind or soul, it is the new research from science that suggests it might change your brain and in a positive way.
Besides for the practically instantaneous feeling of Nirvana, while being in Mother Nature, hiking is said to reduce anxiety and depression. Many of us are very consumed by the pressures of the everyday survival game called ‘life.’
National Academy of Sciences did a study, and they found that taking some time in nature can help decrease obsessive and negative thoughts significantly.
Researchers compared the thoughts of all who hike through natural and city trails. Conclusions were that the hikers who did an hour and a half in a natural environment lessened neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain related to mental illness.
The city slickers did not have the same results. A humdrum environment can cause depression. Without time out in nature, mental illness and depression could be a distinctive result. Mother nature is an essential part of our lives.
Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer, Psychologists, conducted a study that found that reconnecting with Mother nature and ditching technology would make our brains problem-solve much easier. I suppose the brain gets lazy.
The study involved a group of hikers who were stripped of their technology for four days. They were forced to think problems through, and their problem-solving abilities improved by 50% as opposed to their counterparts who relied on technical assistance.
The study also noted the differences between the noise factors of the environment influenced the participants. The group in the natural environment reported less stress and distraction, therefore, being more able to focus. Bonus point feeling more relaxed and more creative.
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder -is becoming a daily term in our lives, especially among children. The symptoms among the children are concentration difficulty, impulse control, and hyperactivity.
Prescription medicine is usually prescribed and accepted, but this could make the situation worse.
Frances E Kup, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD conducted a study and found that allowing children with ADHD, out-door time, reduced symptoms dramatically. The results found this could help anyone, especially children.
Exercise is the best medicine for our life survival skills, yet it now shows that hiking can burn between 400-700 calories per hour. Skip the treadmill and smell the flowers; it is also far less taxing on the body and more enjoyable for most.
The University of Columbia researchers conducted studies, which concluded that aerobic exercise increased hippocampal volume, which is the part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory. Stress and anxiety levels reduced, and as a bonus, self-esteem elevated, and endorphins released.
Medication has been the norm, but maybe the answer is just Mother Nature.
We are so lucky Mother Nature is free, well just about, and not nearly as costly as any of the sold sports activities available. It is a social activity, therefore great for spending time with loved ones, including the dogs.
Leave the technology at home and feed your soul, reduce your stress levels, and be happier, healthier, and brighter.
Fuel yourself with a light breakfast for a short morning hike. Eggs, whole-grain sugarless cereal or fruits, would be a good start.
Suffering from insomnia, try taking a HIKE!
Any exercise is better than none.