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Improve Your Health by Hiking

Getting physically active can be a great way to help your health and recovery. Hiking is a powerful and versatile workout that has major physical and mental health benefits. Whether we start slow or want to push ourselves, hiking is an exercise that can be taken up by anyone with any level of fitness or experience.

Hiking is such an effective exercise because it engages major muscle groups and increases cardiovascular health. In a 2016 Harvard Heart Letter entitled Health Benefits of Hiking: Raise Your Heart Rate and Your Mood, Julie Corliss explains, “Like brisk walking, hiking is a good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, particularly if your route includes some hills, which will force your heart to work harder. Hiking on the slightly uneven surface of a trail also provides a natural way to engage the core muscles in your torso and to hone your balance skills.” Hiking can improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, boost bone density, build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstring, hips, and lower legs, strengthen your core, improve balance, and help with weight control, according to WebMD.

Hiking can even help relieve feelings of depression and anxiety that are common in early recovery. According to the American Hiking Society, “If adrenaline, which is produced by the body to cope with real or perceived danger, isn’t released from the body, it accumulates, causing muscle tension and feelings of anxiety. Walking releases this adrenaline. Results showed immediate decreases in tension and anxiety after walking, regardless of how fast or slow the participants walked. Endorphins released by your body during a walking workout can lift your spirits and keep them there throughout the day or night – keeping your brain as healthy as your body.” The endorphin release, combined with being exposed to fresh air and sunlight, can effectively reduce a variety of mental health problems, including stress. Corliss further explains, “A number of small studies hint that spending time in green space — nature preserves, woodlands, and even urban parks — may ease people’s stress levels. Giving the growing consensus that stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease risk, anything you can do to mitigate stress is likely helpful.”

Recovery from addiction and alcoholism is possible. You can begin building a happy and healthy life in sobriety by making the decision to seek help today. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, features miles of pristine walking trails and other outdoor activities to help your body heal from the damaging effects of addiction. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431