Anyone who’s tired of constant traffic, jam-packed public transport and an unrelenting work schedule, clearly needs a break from urban life. Nodding? Here are five ways that hiking for the day could be just the ticket.
The mental health charity Mind wants ‘ecotherapy’ (i.e. doing activity outdoors) to be recognised as a clinically valid prescription for mental distress. Why? Hiking makes you feel good. The combination of physical activity and natural landscapes is proven to boost your endorphins and improve your mood.
Hiking isn’t a walk in the park (pardon the obvious pun). Hiking generally refers to climbing steep inclines, going off trail and walking over long distances. All of these things teach you physical and mental endurance. These are great skills to bring into every part of your life, especially the workplace.
Busy pavements, crowded transport, noisy crowds, neon signs glaring - cities are fairly distracting places by most counts. All of this makes it harder for you to concentrate on the stuff that matters. The countryside is a far less distracting place. Exploring some good-old stripped back nature gives you the opportunity to relax and see things more clearly.
There are two things that cause stress: worrying about what we need to do and worrying about what we’ve done. After an hour or so of hiking, neither of these worries are so much of a problem. It sounds crazy, but walking for long periods (especially when you have a number of obstacles to overcome) makes you focus on what you’re doing then and there.
If you’re getting fed up of the pressures of city life, hiking could be the escape that you’ve been looking for. Spending time in nature (especially when you’re exercising) helps to lower stress levels, improve concentration and teach you endurance skills. If hiking appeals to you then it might be time to take off the work shoes, put on some boots and head for the hills.