Donald Dirren on How Hiking Can Improve Physical and Mental Health
Exercise can improve mental and physical health in many ways. However, some types of exercise are even more beneficial than others. Avid hiker Donald Dirren recently explained that trail hiking is one extremely beneficial form of exercise. That’s because it combines physical activity with the outdoors.
“Physically, hiking is a full-body workout,” Donald Dirren said. “It works muscles and organs from head to toe.”
Dirren explained that a few benefits of hiking including building stronger bones and muscles, improving balance, and improving heart health. Hiking regularly can also decrease your risk of many respiratory issues.
Another major advantage of hiking is that it’s an adventurous activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Some may enjoy steep inclines and climbs while others take advantage of paved hiking paths. National parks offer some of the best trails in the country, which have been ranked according to difficulty.
“Hiking is as beneficial for mental health as it is for physical health,” Donald Dirren said. “Time spent in nature has been proven to improve mood and overall mental health. It has also been linked to reduced anxiety and stress.”
Donald Dirren stated that research done at Stanford University showed that time spent in the outdoors can also be linked to a lower risk of depression. Hiking is one way to enjoy the mental benefits of exercise and the outdoors at the same time.
Dirren added that hiking has been proven to improve relational help as well. It’s a sport that can be enjoyed with your family, friends, and neighbors. Many cities have hiking groups available to those who are looking to enjoy the sport with others but may not know anyone interested just yet. Hiking can bring you closer to others by strengthening bonds and friendships.
“The best way to understand the benefits of hiking is to get out onto the trails and see for yourself,” Donald Dirren concluded. “The experience of exercising while taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature can’t be rivaled.”
The United States is home to more than 400 different national parks. There are countless state and county parks adding to that number. Thousands of scenic hikes and unforgettable trails are waiting for you around the country, and some are probably even very close to home.