For me hiking is therapeutic, it clears my mind and fills my soul with happiness. I love escaping from the city out into the peaceful surroundings of nature, exploring somewhere new and being amazed by the beautiful views around each corner. I always come back from a hike feeling rejuvenated. With all that being said, hiking is also an amazing workout! You don’t need to always hit the gym to get a great workout in. Hiking is great for building muscle endurance and increasing your cardiovascular abilities. I realize that not everyone has hiking trails where they live, but if you do, take advantage of this great form of movement and get out and HIKE!
Here Are My
BENEFITS OF HIKING!
Challenges your lower body strength and endurance. Specifically your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. The steeper the climb the more you are going to work those legs!If you are carrying a pack, you will also work those upper body muscle too.
Boost your bone density. Walking/hiking is a great form of a weight-bearing exercising. It’s important that you incorporate some kind of weight-bearing exercising throughout your week, this will encourages healthy bone structure and reduces the chances of osteoporosis.
Improve your mood. Being in nature is engrained in our DNA and we sometimes forget that. Hiking in nature will help you feel closer to nature and it’s natural rhythms which may increase your happiness and help you feel more fulfilled.
Improve your balance. The rugged and varied terrain of most hiking trails forces your body to stabilize itself, in time improving your balance and co-ordination.
Gain a feeling of achievement. A difficult hike like a steep hill or mountain can make you feel like you’ve achieved something more table than completing a circuit class at the gym. There is something empowering about getting to the top of a big hill or mountain. You are usually rewarded with some kind beautiful view too.
I was at a fitness convention a month ago, and one of the session I went to was a talk by Brendon Burchard. I did not know this man, but after listening to him I thought to myself, I need to learn more from him and learn more about him! I’ve spent the last month watching many of his youtube videos, which has honestly been a great way to start off my day and get my mind in the right place.
In the video below he talks about what he believes is the 4 cornerstones of achievement. We all want to achieve something, right? How many times in your life have you stated that you wanted to do something, but have never been able to reach that goal? We’ve all been there and we need to stop saying “this is what I want for myself” but never actually getting there because something always comes in the way. You can’t just say you want something and not have plan or put forth any work towards what you want.
4 Cornerstones of Achievement
You need to have deep desire to move the needle of your life forward. What’s your vision and what do you want out of life? You need to desire to have that journey that you need to go on to get to where you want to be.
You need have a plan of how you’re going to reach your desires/goals. Be a student in life and a master of information on what you desire.
You have to WORK for what you want. High level of discipline everyday. Set up habits that keep you on track towards your desires and goals. You can not be afraid to work for what you want. You don’t see any high level achievers who doesn’t have some kind of discipline. They are committed to their habits and practices that positively support them on their path to their goals. Don’t make disciplines in your life a negative things, but it should be a joyful habit of pressuring your dreams.
You need to manage all of those distraction that will get in your way of achieving your desires and goals. Minimize and remove all distractions.
I believe in order to make your day a positive and successful one, you need to first begin each morning setting your day up for happiness and success. If you wake up stressed, grumpy and dreading the day, you will most likely spend the rest of your day in that same state of mind. Happiness or being positive does not come naturally and easy for everyone, so it’s important that you are conscious about doing things that bring positiveness into your life. Our THOUGHTS create our EMOTIONS! Since you have the power to control your thoughts and emotions (even though it may not seem like it at times), you also have the power to start you day off on a positive note each and every day.
My challenge for you is to pick 2-3 of these to practice for the next couple of weeks. Start making the ones you chose a habit in your morning routine and see how your day might change. I believe it will definitely change for the better if you are open to starting your day out with positive habits that will set you up for success.
1. Practice Gratitude Every Morning.
Whether you spend each morning writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful for or you talk to the one you love about what your grateful for, it makes a huge difference to spend that time focusing on things that make you happy and fulfilled in life. It can be anything as simple as a beautiful sunset, the sound of your children laughing, a good cup of coffee or a friend who helped you out. Many of us get caught up in the cycle of negative thinking, and forget to remember how good we may actually have it.
2. Get Up & Move.
There is something about starting your day off moving your body whether your outside running or practicing yoga in the comfort of you home. Moving or exercising can be anything you love doing that gets your body moving and heart pumping. Exercise releases endorphins, which is a feel good hormone, who doesn’t want some of those!!! Willpower is also the strongest in the morning, so the likelihood of you getting out later in the day can be slim due to that fact that life can get in the way, and sometimes the last things you want to do after work is exercise. So, schedule in your excise time and get it done in the morning.
3. Stay Off Social Media.
I found myself getting in the habit each morning of looking on social media right when I woke up, silly right! I’m not saying that you should not look at social media, but it shouldn’t be the first thing your thoughts go to each morning. If you need to read something, read a good book or article instead.
4. Spend Some Time Mediating.
Once you get into meditation routine you may feel your life becoming more peaceful, feel more in-tune with your body and surroundings, have a greater sense of being and have the ability to focus on what you need and want in life. I am in no way a seasoned meditator, but I have found that on the morning I do try to meditate it seems to help my day run smoother and I feel more at peace.
5. Read An Inspiring Book Or Article.
Reading something inspiring and motivating in the morning is bound to get you revved up and ready to tackle the day, there are also many podcast that are great to listen too also. It’s important to constantly strive to keep learning and being inspired each and every day. Stretch and grow your mind each morning. Find something that inspires you and spend some time reading it or listening to it.
6. Enjoy Your Surrounds & Breath In The Fresh Air.
I realize that we all live in different surrounding. Anything from bustling cities, beautiful suburbs and quite countryside. Wherever you live, try to find the beauty in it and ENJOY it! Get outside for a moment and breathe slowly and appreciate the beautiful earth you live in. If you live in a city that does not have fresh air, just pretend it is fresh air you’re breathing in. 🙂
7. Spend Time Making A Healthy Breakfast.
In order for your mind and body to work properly you need to fuel yourself with the right food. You body can not run on garbage for long, so don’t rush out the door with a donut in your hand, but take a few minutes and actually make yourself a nutritious breakfast. Your body will thank you.
8. Wake Up In A Clean Room.
When your surroundings are cluttered, your mind feels cluttered. Clean up your room and you will notice the energy in your room feeling more peaceful and calm. If if struggle with messiness, try taking simple steps, like hanging your towel up right after you shower or never leaving for work unless you bed is made. I am a mom of 4 kids and messiness can be common at my home, but I find that I am happier when my house is clean and organized.
9. Forget About The Mistakes Of Yesterday.
We all sometimes dwell on the past and all of our shortcoming. We think about what we DID NOT do yesterday, instead of focusing on what we WILL DO today. We may of had complete failures yesterday, but today is a new day for success and adventures.
10. Write Down Some Micro Goals.
I am a big believe in goals. There is something about writing them down and accomplishing them throughout the day. It’s important to make them simple. These are micro goals, nothing that can’t be accomplished during the day, but something that challenges you and makes you a better person. Some of the most successful people start their day with a list of what they need to do. Benjamin Franklin started his day off with a list of what he wanted to accomplished throughout the day. If you look below you can see his list. I love that the questions he asked himself each morning “What good shall I do this Day?” and in the evening he asked “What good have I done today?” Make sure some of the goals you put down are ones that will help you and others around you.
11. Ask Yourself “How Can I Make This Day Amazing?”
It’s a simple question, but it’s so powerful. By simply asking yourself “How can I make today amazing?” you make yourself realize that you are in control of how your day goes and how you feel about it. Then, do the things to make it amazing! Sounds kind of silly right, but who cares! The more you focus on yourself and constantly making your life better the more it will actually become the amazing life you strive for.
12. Begin Each Day With A Smile.
Simple, if you wake up frowning and grumpy that frown will most likely stay the rest of the day. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, look at yourself in the mirror and force a smile out and eventually a real one just might appear, and stay too.
I live in Utah, so when the Summertime hits one of my favorite places to exercise is up in the mountains. You do not need to stick with the gym to get a great workout in. It does not even need to be mountains, just head outdoors. You can run, hike, walk, bike, kayak, paddle board or anything that gets your body moving outside. One of my favorites now is to get out to the mountains on my morning runs when the sun is just peaking over the mountains, the air is crisp, my mind is clear and the surrounding are beautiful! It is such an exhilarating way to start your day. I also find when I am going for a longer run I can mentally go longer up in the mountains than I can down in the city, time seems to go by fast and before I know it my long run is done. On those days when I am feeling built up stress in my life, getting outdoors seems to help calm me down. My mind feels clearer and the little stresses in life seem to lot not matter as much. Read below and you will find out the science behind why you might feel that way.
We all have amazing, beautiful and unique bodies that should get out and enjoy the beauty that is in the great outdoors. Below is a great article from the Huffington Post written by Abigail Wise on ways the outdoors make us healthier.
Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes You Healthier
Summer is here, and we’re all for burgers, ocean breezes and an ice cream cone or two. But getting outside is about more than beaches and barbecues. Science shows that spending time in the great outdoors can actually make you healthier. Escaping to the woods, mountains or even your neighborhood park helps both your body and your brain.
Here are seven ways the outdoors make us healthier.
Getting outside makes exercise easier.
Research conducted at the University of Essex showed that the color green, such as that found on trees, grass and other plants in nature, makes exercise feel easier. The small study tested cyclists pedaling in front of green, gray and red images. Those exercising in front of the green showed less mood disturbances and reported that they felt lower exertion during their cycling. Plus, other research showed that those who exercise outside are more eager to return for a future workout than those who stick to the gym.
It can spur weight loss.
When John Muir wrote, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings” in theMountains of California, we kind of doubt he was talking about dropping a few pounds. But as it turns out, not only are the outdoors great for making exercise feel easier and often more enjoyable, but some outdoor elements — like those mountains — directly contribute to weight loss. Simply spending time at high altitude could help shed some pounds, even if you’re just visiting. The higher heights can speed up your metabolism, while actually lessening hunger cravings. So go ahead and plan those mountain escapes, hiking adventures and ski trip getaways.
Nature increases brain function.
Taking in a bit of nature can help your brain in more than one way. For starters, logging outdoor hours may increase concentration skills. One study compared concentration between children with ADHD who played outside, versus those who played inside, after school and on weekends. Kids who spent time in green, outdoor spaces reported fewer symptoms of ADHD, even when the exact same activities were compared.
Taking a stroll can also increase creativity. Research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that walking increases creative production. And while walking anywhere — whether through the woods or in a mall — is beneficial in that it prompts creativity, researchers found that the actual act of spending time outside also influences novelty.
Plus, all of that fresh air is a quick way to kick your brain into high gear. Ditch the caffeine and stick to a walk in the park. Some say that 20 minutes outside can wake you up just as much as one cup of coffee can.
It amps up vitamin D intake.
Vitamin D can be a tricky nutrient to get enough of strictly from foods, because so few naturally carry it, so most of us soak up between 80 to 90 percent of our sunshine vitamin from those golden rays, Dr. Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D. tells The Huffington Post in an article on vitamin D deficiency. And while we all know to protect ourselves from the sun to avoid skin cancer, we also need vitamin D for bone growth, cell growth, inflammation reduction and neuromuscular and immune function. Unfortunately, your skin can only drink in the D from unprotected exposure. That’s why Holick suggests what he calls “sensible sun exposure.” That means only going out in the sun for about one third to one half of the amount of time it would take your skin to mildly burn, or roughly 10 to 15 minutes for many. After you’ve gotten a bit of vitamin D, reach for the sunscreen, grease up and continue your exploration of the great outdoors.
The outdoors may even help us age gracefully.
Research published in the Journal of Aging Health shows that getting outside on a daily basis may help older people stay healthy and functioning longer. Participants in the study who spent time outdoors every day at age 70 showed fewer complaints of aching bones or sleep problems, among other health-related problems, at age 77 than those who did not head outside each day.
Outdoor activities that revolve around group-oriented exercises or hobbies have their own benefits for older people. Research shows that gardening can help dementia and stroke patients improve social skills and confidence, while even increasing mobility and dexterity.
Nature is great for stress-reduction.
Spending time in nature has been shown to lower stress levels, Seattle-based environmental psychologist Judith Heerwagon tells The Huffington Post. “Just looking at a garden or trees or going for a walk, even if it’s in your own neighborhood, reduces stress,” she says. “I don’t think anyone understands why, but there’s something about being in a natural setting that shows clear evidence of stress reduction, including physiological evidence — like lower heart rate.”
One reason Mother Nature may work as such a great stress-buster is through scent. The smell of many flowers, including jasmine, lilacs and roses, have beenproven to decrease stress and increase relaxation. The scent of fresh pine has even been shown to lower depression and anxiety.
The outdoors make us happy.
In addition to helping decrease stress levels, spending more time with nature shows a shift toward more positive moods, says Heerwagon. While we don’t know exactly why this happens in our bodies, “the theory is that we respond positively to things that are good for us,” she tells The Huffington Post. “Trees offer shade, protection and often have fruits and nuts, so they are a source of food as well as protection and comfort.” The idea is that we like things that are inherently good for us and our survival, which is why trees and other natural elements can help lift our moods.