Take a Hike…Really!

by Jo-Ann Downey

in Wellness

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Your body, your thoughts, and your feelings are interrelated.  For example, if you are scared, your heart tends to race and your thoughts may be limited or not as clear as they usually are.  How can you utilize this information?  What can you do for optimal physical, mental and emotional wellness? Take a hike.

*Feel free to continue reading or see an updated blog on my new site BeAllofYouToday*.

Why take a Hike?

Considering that the physical, mental and emotional parts of yourself are connected, which of these three variables may be easier for you to change right now?  Often, it is more straightforward to engage in physical activity than it is to change your feelings or your mental attitude.

Studies show that exercise releases endorphins in your brain which results in what is commonly called a “natural high” or “runners high.”  The positive mental and emotional effects of taking a hike, or a walk, can be immediate.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”  Buddha

Physical Activity

You do not have to exercise rigorously to experience the benefits of nurturing yourself on the physical level.  Other ideas include stretching, taking a gentle walk, yoga, tai chi, meditating, acupressure, dancing or getting a massage. You may want to “warm up” by eating healthy or drinking plenty of water, which are physical nurturing activities.

For many, walking or hiking in nature is more calming than working out indoors.  Although connecting with others who have a common interest, such as in a yoga class, is great too. Experience different things and do what works for you.

Breathe Deeply

I cannot say enough about the benefits of deep breathing.  As shared in “Breathing is Not an Option”, you’re going to breathe all day anyway, so why not make the best of it?  Studies show, and eastern cultures have known for centuries, that proper breathing habits can increase calmness. And the great news is that you have personal control of your breathing habits, you can practice rain or shine, and it’s free!

photo credit: funkgirldeluxe

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