When we decided to launch a virtual hiking event (“Hike Your Hood”) last year, we had two things in mind:
How can we help our participants to go out, get/stay active and take on a new challenge during a pandemic?
How can we plan a virtual event that differs from others?
While we’re approaching our first season of live events, these two goals haven’t changed. Being in the final stages of COVID-19, we’re all relieved to hopefully soon delete the words “pandemic” as well as “virtual” from so much we’ve missed during the last 12+ months (e.g. traveling, meetings, events).
Adding to the mix that we’re committed to a sustainable, eco-friendly event and giving back to nature (along with our partner One Tree Planted), we cannot wait to see you at our first events.
Today, we’d like to take a more holistic approach to why you should join the fast-growing community of hikers all around the world.
When there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, then it’s getting or staying in shape – physically as well as mentally – is more important than ever.
Healthier than you think…
There is no doubt that exercising helps you to stay in shape. Hiking is generally very healthy and in this article we explain why, plus what positive effects hiking has on both your body and mind.
Firstly, hiking helps to strengthen your immune system, as the heat and cold stimuli train your immune system. The result is that you get sick less, which is extremely beneficial. For this reason, hiking is also very popular among elderly people, as it lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases. Hiking also allows you to burn between 350 and 555 calories per hour, which is why it can help you shed a few pounds. It particularly stimulates the fat metabolism, which is why it is great for losing weight. However, you lose weight in a way that is easier on the joints than in other sports, such as running. Your muscles, bones and ligaments are gently built up and trained with your calm and regular movements. These steady movements also reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders.
If you are a diabetic, hiking is particularly beneficial for you, as hiking lowers blood fat and blood sugar levels. Hiking is recommended for people with both high and low blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, hiking will get your blood pressure going again, whereas people with high blood pressure also benefit as their heartbeat will regulate itself slowly while hiking.
All these positive benefits on your body aside, hiking is beneficial to your mind as well! Hiking not only calms you down but allows you to escape the stress of your everyday life. Factors such as being outside in the fresh air even increases one’s ability to think. For example, at a walking speed of 2.5 miles per hour, the brain is supplied with up to 40% more blood than in retirement, which can particularly encourage the formation of new nerve cells. After a hike of a minimum length of 90 minutes, you are generally able to sleep more peacefully and get a better night’s rest. This is because you are less prone to brooding after a 90-minute hike, providing several other benefits, as brooding has been shown to be an early sign of mental illnesses, such as Depression, and reducing the brooding reduces the risk of developing similar mental illnesses.
A study shows that hiking even promotes creativity and problem-solving skills. In studies, test persons hiked for three days. The tranquility of nature and the lack of daily, technological stimuli lead to reduced stress. This in turn, frees up greater capacity for creativity and problem-solving approaches.
In addition, hiking connects people to those around them. It is a great way to make new contacts or to make new friends. People feel that it’s great to have little adventures with other hikers and try out new paths. This, too, is a reason for participating in one of our MammothMarch events that you may not have initially considered. As hiking connects you to those around you, MammothMarch is the perfect opportunity to reach out and connect with others.
In the end it can be summarized into: Hiking makes you healthy. It has innumerable positive effects on your physical and mental health, and you are much less prone to illness.
Happy hiking everyone!