Keep Close to Nature’s Heart…The Benefits of Hiking

“Keep close to nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain, or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” — John Muir

This year I began my wellness reboot that focused on various areas of health. I vowed to eat healthier, get more sleep, drink more water, stretch my body, and ease up on the acidic beverages. It’s been about six weeks now and I am learning that this is not just a physical health reboot, but also a mental and spiritual one as well. For instance, I really consider the things I ingest before actually consuming them. I’ll ask myself, “do I really need a third cup of coffee?” Yeah, probably not. It might taste good but I should probably make my way over to the water pitcher. This is a new way of thinking for me, guys! Old Joanna would have downed that third cup… maybe four!

Focusing on my wellness has also stirred up an old passion of mine for hiking. When I was young, my sisters and I would have to accompany my parents on day long hikes. Yes, have to. Well, let’s be honest, I despised them. I would pout and drag my feet, slump my shoulders and whine. Oh, I was the worst! I was seven years old and just wanted to be riding my bike or playing on the swings. I had no idea my parents were on to something. Years and years later, after I graduated college, a friend of mine took me on a hike. I was reluctant to go at first, as the only hiking experience I had involved complaining and being told to, “stop fake-crying and catch up!” But I went, and wouldn’t you know it, I loved it. I felt relaxed and peaceful, yet energetic at the same time. Hiking was for me.

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Cut to present day: I have recently rediscovered my love for hiking. I spend most of my workouts in the gym on the treadmill, but there is absolutely nothing like hiking or running outside, along a trail. This rediscovery is the perfect addition to my wellness reboot. When I hike, there aren’t any distractions and I can clear my mind. I can focus on one thing at a time, whether it is the natural beauty that surrounds me or everyday life situations. Though I love my gym, I am unable to focus like that on a treadmill. After a hike, my body feels fresh, yet fatigued. My mind is calm, yet buzzing. Breathing fresh air purifies your body and promotes increased oxygen intake. Gregory A. Miller, PhD., president of the American Hiking Society states, “research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety.” Yes, hiking has an incredible set of perks: beautiful scenery and numerous physical and mental benefits. If anyone needs a little wellness boost, I suggest to get outside and go for a hike!

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+ Are you an avid hiker? Or are you thinking of giving it a try? I would love to hear about it!

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Beautiful photos and I love hiking as well. It is such a great way to connect with nature and also spend some time doing something good for your body. When you hike with others it’s great because you have company but are simultaneously also having your own personal experience. Kind of like skiing.

Rae | love from berlin

This is really inspiring and the photos are just wonderful. I really enjoy hiking as well, but there’s not a lot of nature close to where I live unfortunately.

These photos are gorgeous! I’ve been having a lot of fear while hiking recently that I never did before – but maybe in the spring i’ll be more comfortable when I can see the ground and there isn’t ice. I hope,I hope! Thank you for making me long to be outside xo

Warm Regards,
Alexandra
http://www.littlewildheart.com

Breathtaking photos! Wonderful job!

Such beautiful photos!! I love hiking and any chance that I get to be part of nature. There is something so perfect and pristine about fresh mountain air and trees taller than city buildings. My favorite places that I have been to recently are Big Sur, CA and Zion National Park. Both have some of the best hiking in the world and they are some of my favorite places on Earth. Absolutely love this post:) xo

http://stainedsilverblog.com

Yes! I love to hike! My husband and I hike on almost vacation we take. I just wrote my own post on my blog about our hike we took at a State Park in the winter. It was the first time we ever hiked in the winter months and we loved it. Hiking is the only exercise I truly enjoy. Great post. Beautiful pics!

Gorgeous photos! I love hiking so much more than spending time stuck in a gym. Thankfully, here in Northern California, hiking is so easy to come by and so easy to do no matter your skill level.

Samantha
splendorandforge.wordpress.com

I’m a big believer in getting folks to actually go outside. It’s definitely worth while, in all kinds of weather. Glad you’ve found your way back to the woods :)

Check out my nature photography blog: http://twofeetphoto.blogspot.com/

I was never a hiking person. Then recent years I’ve become to enjoy it more and more. So relaxing and peaceful. And my dog loves it too. :) Great post! Thank you <3

rae

love love. great reminder.
xo beauties

http://instagram.com/rae.n/

i love hiking, i live in new jersey so right now it’s a little too cold, but the second it warms up i’ll be back out there!

http://www.waterlilyshop.com
@waterlilyshop

Madison

hiking brings me so much closer to myself and to nature…it definitely makes me feel amazing. I’m always on the treadmill and i get sick of it sometimes, so when i rediscover the beauty of being outside it makes me feel so energized and alive!!

lovemadisonbailee.blogspot.com

jamie

Favorite pastimes: hiking and daydreaming about hiking! Definitely feel lucky to live in gorgeous Washington state where the mountain and seaside hikes are plentiful. —Thank you for the beautiful photos from the trail!