Naturalist’s Corner: Health and Hiking

Oct 11, 2020

Posted October 7, 2020

Written by Kyla Isakson

Being active in nature has some great physical and mental health benefits, and people of most ages and abilities can take advantage of these benefits by hiking. Hiking provides something for everyone, whether it’s walking a flat path, climbing some intermediate inclines, or trekking to the top of a mountain. Hiking up hills and inclines provides a cardio and core workout, improving your heart health and building stronger muscles. 

Hiking can be a fun way to exercise, and it can also provide some positive effects on mental health. On your next hike, take notice of how you feel during and after; hiking can boost your mood and help relieve stress. You can also practice strengthening your mind on your hikes as you encounter terrain that can be unpredictable, driving you to be more aware of your surroundings and solve problems when things get more difficult. Hiking with others (while social distancing) can help you build healthy relationships; going with a friend or family member creates a connection as you chat and bond over this shared experience. 

In addition to connecting with others, you can also reconnect to the natural environment. Nature can engage your senses in a way that screens and indoor activities might not. Take some time to soak up the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air! To further connect to the environment, try some of our mindfulness practices and nature activities on your own or with a friend. Visit our Facebook page to find these posts! 

There’s no time like the present to start hiking, and you can reap the health benefits this fall!

Note: The Wareham Land Trust is dedicated to conserving Wareham’s open spaces and natural resources. The organization also values the health of its members and the community. Please remember that during this time of concern about the spread of COVID-19, it is critical to limit your contact with others and practice good hygiene. As a reminder, our trails remain open for your use, and we encourage you to get outside and into nature as much as possible in the coming weeks.