Take A Hike

Getting outdoors, even in the winter is invigorating! If only for 20 minutes, you can put on some shoes, coat, hat, and gloves and drive to a hiking spot or simply walk out your door, taking in the crisp, and hopefully clean air that’s circulating in your neighborhood or park. Just putting one foot in front of the other for 20 minutes will change your attitude about many things. When essential hormones are released, you feel better about life. Period. And it’s not really in your control. The release of the hormones, I mean. They just release. On their own without any help from you. Also not in your control (and that’s fantastic really because we can really make a mess of things when we try to control) are the benefits of hiking:

  1. Lowers your risk of heart disease
  2. Strengthens your core (six-pack, lower abs, obliques, lower back muscles, diaphragm, muscles along your spine, lower pelvics)
  3. Improves your balance
  4. Improves your blood pressure
  5. Improves your insulin levels (too high and you’re stuck with diabetes; too low and you’re a irritable mess)
  6. Helps you to lose weight (or if you don’t want to lose weight, be my guest and maintain it)
  7. Helps to decrease anxiety

I recommend that for your first time, start out slow and don’t walk for more than 30 minutes. After you’ve been walking for a few weeks, it will be time to step it up. Head for the hills. There’s a hill at a park where I hike that’s a little steep. The first time, I didn’t even get near it. After a few days, I became intrigued by it and decided to walk up it. Hard? Yes. But after a week of adding this sucker to my routine, I had to run up it. Hard? Yes. But after a week of running up it, I had to run up it twice. You get the idea. It became easier and easier with each passing week. Now, there were some days I said no to the hill. I wasn’t in the mood. That was okay. The hill couldn’t care less.

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Suzanne Sommerville

Life Blogger

Christ-follower, daughter, mom, Mimi to 6 grandchildren, teacher, writer, and musician

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Hiking 101