10 Reasons Hiking Is Great For Your Health

Soon enough, the leaves will be changing colors, the beating sun will be paired with a cool crisp breeze, the smell of pumpkin and apple cider will follow you everywhere, and fun fall hiking will begin. [slideshow:1096]

Hiking is an important activity in any season of the year, but particularly fall, when the colors are so vivid and the temperature so perfect, trekking up a mountain and through a trail is a stunning way to spend your afternoon. But beyond the sheer beauty, and natural appreciation that comes along with heading out onto the trail on a nice fall day, hiking is an activity bursting with health benefits.

Hiking clears the mind and helps the body in many different ways. When chatting with two enthusiasts, we could all agree that hiking is terrific, but New York-based Dr. Marina Gafanovich and Jenifer Joy Madden, author and member of Society of Environmental Journalists, explored the deeper aspects of what type of health benefits hiking offers.

Related: Hiking First Aid: 10 Things You Need to Protect Yourself in the Great Outdoors

"Not only is hiking a lot of fun," explained Dr. Gafanovich, "it also offers significant benefits to the human body. In fact, hiking can be considered to be a powerful cardio workout that has the potential to lower your risk of heart disease, improve your blood pressure and your blood sugar levels."

And hiking goes beyond just a great workout, it is proven to have many mental health benefits as well. These benefits just prove how important it is to get outside and trek. Stay happy, healthy, and have some fun out on the trails that nature has to offer.

Makes You Happier

[Flickr/Asaf antman]

Studies have shown that hiking can be used as additional therapy for those who suffer from severe depression. Helping to increase self-esteem and self-perception hiking can make life happier overall.

Inspires Creativity

[Flickr/Attila Szucs]

Hiking is proven to make you more creative. Studies show that up to a 50% increase in problem solving and creativity after a hike. 

Click here to see more health benefits of hiking.

12 Habits of Genuinely Happy People
8 Ways Stress is Making You Gain Weight
10 Weight Loss Myths That Pack on Pounds