Hiking is fun and is a great travel experience, but walking is also an awesome way to immerse yourself in nature for a day; and a super easy microadventure that you can have on the weekend, to escape the grind and refresh the hell out of yourself for Monday morning.
Still need convincing? Here are 10 nuggets of science that very much prove it’s time to get your hike on.
1. Hiking makes you happy
It can: “Improve your mood, decrease your anxiety and even improve your memory.” According to this 2014 Stanford University study, quoted in the LA Times.
2. Hiking can ward off depression
A new study, also mentioned by the LA Times, says: “A 90 minute stroll in a natural environment can lead to measurable benefits for the brain, and may help combat depression.”
Though you need to hike while immersed in nature, as the scientists did not find the same benefits when hikers walked by a busy road with lots of traffic.
3. Hiking makes you less stressed
This 2014 study, quoted in Outside, also found that going for a long walk combatted depression, while also helping people “mitigate the negative effects of stressful life events and perceived stress.”