We all know that a good long walk can ease and cleanse the mind, exercise the body, and lift the soul – but science is now discovering that walking can actually change your brain!
Here’s an interesting article that I came across whilst researching some Wellness content. It makes for good reading and I’d like to suggest that you take note of it the next time you’re debating on whether you should go out for that walk, or run or exercise session.
The article was originally published by Collective Evolution
Hiking In Nature Can Stop Negative, Obsessive Thoughts
Aside from the almost instant feeling of calm and contentment that accompanies time outdoors, hiking in nature can reduce rumination. Many of us often find ourselves consumed by negative thoughts, which takes us out of the enjoyment of the moment at best and leads us down a path to depression and anxiety at worst. But a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.
Hiking While Disconnected From Technology, Boosts Creative Problem Solving
A study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about 4 days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks which required creative thinking and complex problem solving, and researchers found that performance on problem solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion.
Hiking Outdoors Can Improve ADHD In Children
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is becoming more and more common among children. Children who have ADHD have a difficult time with impulse control and staying focused, they get distracted easily, and exhibit excessive hyperactivity.
While raising children who have ADHD can be difficult for parents, the usual solution — opting for prescription medication — may be doing more harm than good, particularly when natural solutions can work just as well. A study conducted by Frances E Kup, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD, found that exposing children with ADHD to “green outdoor activities” reduces symptoms significantly. The results of this study suggest nature exposure can benefit anyone who has a difficult time paying attention and/or exhibits impulsive behaviour.
Hiking In Nature Is Great Exercise And Therefore Boosts Brainpower
We already know that exercising is fantastic for our overall well-being. Hiking is an excellent way to burn between 400 – 700 calories per hour, depending on your size and the hike difficulty, and it is easier on the joints than other activities like running. It has also been proven that people who exercise outside are more likely to keep at it and stick to their programs, making hiking an excellent choice for those wishing to become more active on a regular basis.
Obviously I’ve summarized it for you, but I’d love you to take some time to read the entire article and the accompanying studies by the various distinguished scientists.
Moral of the Story…
…buy yourself some hiking shoes, some rain gear, and a water bottle and off you go!