Hiking = Happiness!

Author: Daniel Nguyen

As an individual who constantly enjoys being outdoors, I would say that hiking is a must-try activity here in the Pacific Northwest. There are so many different opportunities here to take a hike, and many of them reward you with a fantastic view at the end. Whether it is a calm isolated lake, or a ledge giving you a bird’s-eye view of a canyon, hiking not only rewards you with a view, but benefits your health as well! Researchers from Stanford University’s School of Graduate Education has discovered that a mere hour of hiking can burn well over 500 calories! However, each hiking trail is different in terms of difficulty such as incline, so make sure you pick a hike that you think is right for you!

Hiking also helps your body in many ways, not just burning calories. Studies from the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that long distance hikes can improve the body’s antioxidative capacity which helps fight disease in oncological patients. The physical benefits you get with hiking also improves cardiovascular health. But that’s not all! Research has shown that hiking can serve as another form of therapy that can significantly help those who have depression. Having an active lifestyle will help individuals feel less hopeless. So not only does hiking have health benefits, it can have emotional benefits as well!

I have hiked more than dozens of times in the Pacific Northwest, and I can say that I have never been to a hike where I regretted it. I strongly recommend hiking to anyone, especially those who don’t see nature often. If you’ve never hiked before, I suggest starting small and choose a hike that won’t be too much for your body to handle. Even if the hike is very short, it is better than not hiking at all. Last but not least, I would advise to hike with as many of your friends and family as you can!

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/18/how-taking-a-hike-can-mak_n_5584809.html

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/rattle-snake-ledge

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