Non-stop work e-mails and buzzing cell phones make it nearly impossible to detach from daily demands. Even if your job does not require you to be readily available 24/7, odds are you are checking your social media or google-ing the name of “what's that thing called.” By turning off the phone and hitting the trails you can find peace outside the confines of city limits. Need a little convincing? Here are fives reasons to tread dirt:
1. Reduce Stress
It's easy to get bogged down with responsibility in day-to-day life. Not having access to communicate on a work or social level allows your brain to switch gears and take a breath. It allows you to relax. Exercise is as important to physical health as it is mental health. Hiking in nature eliminates city stimulants, allowing you to be at peace in a natural surrounding. Wilderness therapy can do wonders for stress reduction.
2. Absorb Vitamin D
Crammed in a cubicle or stuck inside doing house chores all weekend does nothing in the way of helping you obtain the recommended dose of sunlight. Our bodies require a certain amount of Vitamin D that is produced naturally via sun exposure. Too much can lead to a nasty sunburn, which is not recommended. However, the right amount of exposure keeps us healthy and happy. Lack of the required amount can lead to depression, amongst other deficiencies. By hitting the trails, your body can readily absorb sunlight, without requiring a trip to the beach.
3. Get Educated
There is a whole world out there, and the best way to experience it is to get out in it! On a simple hike you can come across various species you may have never taken the time to notice. Plants, flowers, insects, animals – you are likely to encounter a multitude of new things. Try to identify plants or geological formations. Maybe you will even wander across an area with a significant historical background. You'd be surprised what you could learn from a simple trail!
4. Increase Focus and Mood
Constantly surrounded by stimulation, albeit social or work related, we can find it rather difficult to focus. Whether it's the task at hand or your inner self, it is almost impossible to not be distracted. Yet, when you are hiking in the vastness of nature, clarity suddenly appears. You can focus on yourself, be present in the moment, and ultimately find your center of happiness.
5. Enhance Appreciation
How many sunset photos have you seen and said to yourself “how beautiful, wish I was there”? It is easy to lose appreciation for the world around us when we get caught up in the rat race. The same surroundings day in and day out may desensitize you and lead to a lack of appreciation for the things you once enjoyed. If this happens, take a hike! The wonders of nature and finding peace in the landscape will change your outlook. The beauty you find when exploring the outdoors will enhance your appreciation of life in all forms.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your hiking boots and go!