The amazing benefit of hiking on your health, happiness and productivity

A guest blog by Tim Fox.

It is easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day life and to fall into a sort of routine. We wake up, we go to our jobs, and we come home. Now and again, we’ll maybe go out and have a drink with friends or something. It is a proven fact that humans are creatures of habit, and falling into a routine is just a regular aspect of life.

But what if I told you that making a small change to your regular routine, can have a phenomenal impact on your health, happiness, and productivity? You might even be surprised to know that it’s something simple. The answer is hiking. Taking hikes, even small ones can have wondrous health benefits! Let us tell you more about it.

  1. Vitamin D

There are so many health benefits that come, just from being outdoors. Being outside means we get to soak up vitamin D, which is a necessary nutrient that we need to be healthy. When we are out in the sun, this nutrient is naturally and readily available. This is important to know because vitamin D occurs very rarely in foods. We can always take vitamins or supplements, but nothing beats soaking up that natural sunshine.

Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium better, which means stronger bones and healthy bone growth. More important still, deficiency of this nutrient has been linked to various cancers and even depression. If that alone isn’t reason enough to get more sunshine, then I don’t know what is!

  1. Decompress and Relax

Another wonderful thing that hiking and nature do is it helps to decompress and relax naturally. The science behind it isn’t exact, but many scientists say that it simply has a positive, psychological, effect on us. Taking some time for the outdoors can decrease stress, boost creativity, and improve mental clarity.

Many tests have even shown that it even lowers blood pressure. Our jobs can be hectic, our lives can be busy, but disconnecting from all that now and again and enjoying nature, can be very beneficial for both our mental and physical health.

  1. Endorphins

When it comes to the outdoors, nobody can argue that hiking is one of the best activities you can do. Not only are you getting that healthy sunshine and the relaxation that comes with being outside, but you are also getting exercise too, which is also very beneficial for your health.

Exercising gives us endorphins. Endorphins interact with receptors in your brain that can give us a feeling of positivity. These endorphins can also reduce stress, help keep us healthy, and also help us to lose weight. When you combined these endorphins with nature’s natural ability also to boost mood and mind, you get the ultimate combination of both health and happiness boosters.

    4. Experiences

Hiking also has some other wonderful experiences too! Apart from being very healthy and relaxing, it can also be fun and engaging. There is so much to do on a hike. You can take pictures and capture the beauty of the outdoors, you can bird watch, or you can take in all of the lovely flora and fauna in the area. Stop and smell the roses.

This is what makes hiking one of the best activities that you can do! It keeps you healthy, boosts your mood, is fun, and the creativity boost you get will make your day easier and feel so much less stressful. You don’t even have to hike a lot. Life is busy, and we all know this. Even a short ten- or fifteen-minute hike through a park can have more health benefits for you than you realize.

  1. The Colour Green

Another interesting tidbit about hiking and nature deals with the colour green. Perhaps this colour also has something to do with nature’s phycological effect on us. An interesting study at the University of Essex concluded that being around the colour green actually made people feel lower exertion during exercise and also reported fewer mood disturbances too.

The people who exercised around different colors did not feel the same way. So perhaps there is something about the colour green that has just a little bit of magic on our psyches.

Conclusion

Even if you can only spare a couple of hours a day, you should engage in hiking outside. Hiking will provide you with peace of mind and keep you healthy. But before you go hiking don’t forget to take few essentials especially water and best hydration bladder to keep you hydrated. Based on the evidence and from those who spend time outdoors, it is a wonderful way to stay healthy, happy, and get a creative boost that you won’t find anywhere else.

Since the age of 10, Tim, a writer at Outdoor With J, has enjoyed camping in the great outdoors. Although he loves the peace and quiet of the outdoors, he also likes his creature comforts. Tim’s mission is to make camping a fun and comfortable experience for all.

Fun and rewarding hobbies that you can start learning right now

Having a hobby comes with numerous benefits

A guest blog by Cheryl Conklin.

Having a hobby comes with numerous benefits. According to one study, enjoying leisurely activities can boost both your physical and psychological well-being. In fact, people with hobbies report lower depression, greater life satisfaction and even had lower levels of blood pressure than people who did not have a hobby. The best part? Learning a new skill is a great way to exercise your brain and engage in personal development. By setting small and realistic goals, you can also increase your confidence. So, pick a hobby and get started today.

Learn to play a musical instrument

Did you know that playing music with others is a great way to strengthen social bonds? It encourages us to cooperate with other people and practice empathy. Although many people learn to play music from a young age, Huffington Post claims that learning an instrument as an adult can be even easier. A lifetime spent listening to music gives you a solid foundation for understanding its structure. You also have better self-discipline, focus and the advanced understanding necessary to take on abstract concepts.

Online lessons are a flexible way to learn music at your own leisure. You’re able to practice music at your own pace but still receive direction and structure from a professional. When it comes to buying an instrument, you don’t have to go with the common guitar or piano. Many adults enjoy learning the cello, tuba, or flute. Head to your local music store and ask them about their beginner instruments. For example, beginner flutes are made to minimize the reach required by your fingers.

Get into DIY crafts and home improvement

Becoming a DIY (do it yourself) enthusiast is easy. Once you experience the pride of creating something with your own two hands instead of paying someone else to do it, you won’t be able to stop. Eventually, you’ll have a wide set of DIY skills that will allow you to tackle home repairs or create quick handmade presents for friends on the fly. To get started, look for YouTube tutorials on the types of décor or crafts you want to create. You may be lucky enough to find DIY classes at your local DIY store where you can learn from painting techniques to how to install windows.

Get your hands dirty

Gardening is loved around the world by people of all ages. According to Eartheasy, it’s a highly therapeutic and rewarding way to spend your time, making it the perfect hobby. And, the Internet is full of amazing resources to help you learn about soil types, watering schedules, what plants to grow together, or how to design an efficient garden.

Living in an apartment? You don’t even need a backyard to garden. Engage in container gardening on your patio, or rent a lot in your community garden. Some of the easiest plants to grow for beginners include peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. If you’re worried about raising plants from seed, head to your local garden center and pick up some seedlings to transplant.

Learn how to cook amazing meals with simple ingredients

If you’re bored with your usual staple meals, learning to cook can widen your culinary horizons immensely. For example, simply knowing how to build flavour in a dish with garlic and onion can add new dimensions to your food. The next time you have a free evening, get together with friends and sign up for a cooking class. This allows you to have tons of fun while learning how to make a couple of new, unique dishes that you can replicate at home. If you want to get your kids involved, check out this guide by BBC Good Food for advice on teaching cooking skills to kids of various ages.

Having a hobby comes with numerous benefits

Having a hobby comes with numerous benefits – it’s a great way to spend your free time feeling productive. Even if none of these sounds appealing to you, there’s bound to be something you enjoy. For example, more leisurely activities including reading, writing and photography. Try some different things until you find a hobby you feel passionate about and start feeling the benefits. Over at Lucidity we took up improv and check out what we learned here. 

Cheryl Conklin is a freelance writer and tutor by trade and a blogger, adventurer, traveler, and creator of Wellness Central in her free time. She created Wellness Central because she believes one can’t have physical health without mental health and vice versa.