Trekking has numerous benefits which are related to a healthy life of a person. Going as per science, trekking helps in release of a chemical called Endorphins. Endorphins are a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having many physiological functions. When we do any activity this hormone is released. It automatically triggers the mind and it reduces the stress in life.
Well that being said there are many activities which helps in release of these hormones but out of all the other activities Exercise (not only running) is said to be best. It is also effective for boosting your immune, building your core and legs strength, reducing heart diseases and many more other benefits. With the current lifestyles and busy lives it becomes a little difficult to take out time for exercise. Though few of us have that dedication but be truthful to yourself how many of you actually take out time? Sadly, the number is very less.
Working out in gym is cherished during initial few days and becomes less desirable because of the monotonous schedule. Walking or hiking for only half an hour release more calories than an hour of gym, lifting heavy weights.
From my experience in the Himalayas where I have completed over 20 treks with few above 5000 meters(above 16,000 feet). I myself believe that one should go trekking at least twice a year, but there is no limitation. Take trekking as an opportunity to gain new learning, inspiration and new culture. Trekking will offer you breathtaking landscape views and quiet moment of self-reflection. The benefits of trekking are vast and worthy. It provides benefits from physical to mental to spiritual because there is something naturally delightful and magical in the lap of mother nature.
And here are some benefits of trekking or hiking:
1. IMPROVES YOUR FITNESS AND LONGER LIFE
Trekking involves walking ups and downs of mountains and passing through fields and boulders. Many surveys have shown that trekking for 4-6 hours results in a burning of calories which leads to fat loss and increases the testosterone hormones.
Moreover, you are walking long distances, so the heart has to pump the blood harder to maintain the oxygen level which cleanses the blood. Drinking water during the activity helps in purifying the body simultaneously. Trekking is enough to reduce the risk of heart failures, strokes and heart attacks by 30%, as per the research. If you are active then it can certainly reduce the risk of cancer too. Hence trekking providing you with a healthy and longer life.
Either you relate it to the fitness or longer life or mental stability or inner peace, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he or she seeks.”
2. REJUVENATES YOUR HEART AND LUNGS
Trekking takes you away from the population. It means that you will get fresh and clean air because the human activities have been limited to these places. As a result, the natural and extensive growth of flora is found. When you breathe clean air, the lungs becomes more capable and the heart pumps more blood which eventually invigorate your heart and lungs. Trekking not only benefits your heart but because of the physical activity you perform and sometimes you push yourself when it becomes difficult. It makes a great cardio workout and decrease the level of cholesterol and blood pressure.
3. ENERGIZES YOUR MOOD
Did you know that some exercises like walking reduces depression and work as the medicine for anti-depression? Similarly, trekking is a perfect booster as it not only combines walking activity which reduces the stress but also add to the mental strength. When you breathe fresh air and feel the peace and calm scenery, it automatically rejuvenate your inner soul and your mind and the soul gets lost in the panorama of nature. Extending your time in nature can provide you with some extra perks like reduction in stress and improved energy levels and a good sound sleep, as per some clinical studies.
Hence it won’t be incorrect to say that in this fast paced society, trekking provides some great benefits for your mind and emotional well-being too. And since it energizes your mood like nothing else so don’t wait because “There’s always something beautiful outside.”
4. ATHLETIC MUSCLES AND STRONG BONES
Walking is said to be complete workout for the whole body and so does trekking. Trekking requires a great amount of physical work, walking ups and downs, crossing fields and climbing boulders. There is a great involvement of different muscles which increases flexibility of muscles and makes the bones stronger. While doing multiple days trek and carrying backpacks which includes clothes, food, water, tents (in some cases), first aids and much more which adds to the shoulder and back and kind of give you better workout and increases bone density as well. It also helps if you have problems like back pain, arthritis and joint pain, keeping in mind you carry a suitable load.
Trekking in Himalayas or any other topography will need great amount of energy. Trekking leads to involvement of each muscle straight from legs, arms, core, abdominal muscles, back to the quads, hamstrings and calves. Thus makes your body flexible and muscles athletic.
5. INCREASES YOUR FOCUS
Trekking or hiking is an activity which requires a lot of focus since you don’t want your ankle to get twisted. You are walking over boulder or rough patches so you need to be focus where and how you are walking. A mere walk or movement of ten odd minutes believed to increase mental focus and productivity. It is always a good idea to walk even when you are in busy city life and working on your desk. Try to walk when you are on break because when you will return to your desk you will be able to concentrate on work. Hence it automatically improve your productivity.
Likewise, taking a weekend break from work and spending time in trekking will enable your senses. It will make you more focused towards your goals. Besides, it will reduce your stress and improve your physical fitness as well.
When you have focus, you tend to find the solutions to all your problems. “I don’t believe you truly know yourself, until you spend time in the great outdoors” (I read this somewhere)
6. INCREASES YOUR MENTAL STRENGTH
Trekking is a great way to reduce stress from your life because during trekking your body releases endorphins and makes you happy. A lot of studies have found out that problems like depression, stress, and health issues can be cured to some extent when you indulge yourself in some or other types of physical activity, what is better than trekking, isn’t it? It is a complete guide to keep your whole body fit and serenity your mind. Mountains provides you with astonishing views, mesmerizing water bodies, snow covered peaks, glittery skies filled with stars, fresh air all these helps in keeping your mind serene and soothing.
7. EXPERIENCE INCREDIBLE FLORA AND FAUNA
During your trekking you will come across some phenomenal species of birds, distinct wildlife and beautiful plants and trees. These plants or trees have great healing properties and medicinal value which are even spotted in cities.
For example, you all must be aware of Rooh Afza which is pretty common during summers in cities and used for refreshment purpose but holds a very high sugar content. On the other hand if you are traveling to Uttarakhand then you will find Buransh Juice which is extracted from a flower. It has so many benefits and works like an anti-oxidant and cleanses the blood. The best part is it does not contain any artificial sugar.
How about if I ask you, when was the last time you saw a bird in a city? The answer is, none of us remember. We live such a busy life that we don’t notice, but the truth is, birds have actually completely escaped from the cities. But when you go to these places for trekking you will be able to find a lot of them and few will be like totally new species for you. “Let’s find some beautiful place to get lost.”
8. EXPERIENCE LOCAL CULTURE AND FOOD
Trekking has many rewards, but only few realize those benefits. Stepping into the mountains, you can deliciously surprise your taste buds which is lost in our dying culture of blended taste. You can be friends with mountain folks and in return they will offer you the food and shelter. Moreover with the growing culture of homestays, you can easily experience their local food and learn their culture. But make sure if they are complimenting your stay or food out of courtesy then leave them with a small gift. Doing a little won’t hurt you financially or emotionally. The locals also gets benefited if you are paying them against your stay. It will help them to improve their livelihood and also encourage them.
The purity which you will find in the water or the simplicity and taste you will find in the mind will leave you stuck. You would not have had that kind of food even if you would spend 1000’s of bucks in cities. These experiences can only be provided with this sport, new friends, n number of health benefits, a chance to experience new culture and tradition, redeveloping the taste buds and much more, what else you can ask for.
9. MAKE NEW FRIENDS
How much fun it is to meet someone new with same interests and spending time with them is a completely different joy, isn’t it? Well I am sure all of you will agree with this. When you are trekking you will be able to make friends easily because you have so much in common. First of all you are like-minded and second you will be staying or trekking together for a specific time frame. Trekking in groups is actually a great way to develop or enhance your emotional well being. I have made so many friends during various treks and we are still good friends. All it takes is, to share your thoughts and feelings about something you like or something you both have in common.
Here is a quote which I found out by Helen Keller and I completely agreed with it “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
10. DISCONNECT FROM TECHNOLOGY
Yes there are certainly a huge advantages of the technology which is coming up on every day basic. But somewhere it is definitely hurting you and the environment. Thus you should actually not be completely dependent on these new gadgets. If you are going there then try to minimize the use of these gadgets. Take some time to observe the beautiful nature or the sunset or sunrise, I am sure it will be worth. The people who are living in the mountains are completely unaware about what the internet is. Whereas you are going there and searching for internet connectivity, such an irony. I have experienced these situations personally. While trekking you are away from all the hustles of office life, social media, television and the world. This silence will provide you with calmness and relaxation of mind and soul. A gadget free getaway can re-teach you to appreciate and connect with the Mother Nature. And that being said trekking is considered to be a great way to reconnect with your soul and self-discover yourself.
I really liked this quote. It gave me motivation to leave the comfort, be it city life or the technology which I was so used to“You have to leave your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
Hence it won’t be incorrect to say that trekking has so many benefits to offer to you. I feel trekking is the best thing because first of all it is your ‘me’ time and second it has many health benefits to offer to you. When you have some time off from your busy corporate life then either you can go on vacation trips where you can enjoy nature and spend time with yourself or with your family. Else you can go out and play some sports to keep you fit. But while trekking you can accomplish both.