Want to get fit? Take a hike

Want to get fit? Take a hike

What? What do you mean by this? Now don’t worry. This isn’t me being rude. Follow along and it will make sense.

Hi there. How are you? How did you like my blog from last week? Did you find it interesting and informative? How did you find the information about the values and qualities of being a nurse? I hope that you found it to be of use. If you have any questions, please let me know as I would love to hear your ideas and feedback.

On to the blog.

For those of you who have been following my blog you know that I draw upon lived experience as well as reading and researching around health and wellbeing topics of interest. Last week I explored nursing and the values. This week I would like to talk about hiking and the health benefits that may come with that.

Why am I talking about hiking this week you may ask?

Well this last weekend my partner, Lana, and I went to Snowdonia for some rest and relaxation and for some hiking. Last week I ended a job which I have been working at for several years, and I will be starting a new job soon, and we decided to get away for a few days to take advantage of the free time that we both had.

We encountered a cosy Welsh village and a creaky but lovely bed and breakfast. We did some exploring, saw some beaches, saw a really impressive castle, and did a fairly challenging walk up to the Snowdonia Peak. For those who are unfamiliar with the Snowdonia Peak, it is a walk in Wales for mountain walkers and avid climbers which is an obstacle course of big rocks, slippery rocks and areas with thick grass. We went on a cold and windy and cloudy day and really felt the cold on the walk up to the top, and at the same time really felt like we were having a great workout. We took several breaks along the way but we made it to the point.

View from the top of the peak

On return to London and as I reflect on the amazing views which we encountered, it also made me reflect on the health benefits which we experienced while we were hiking. Yes, whilst you are getting great amounts of fresh oxygen into your body, hiking has other health benefits as well.

According to Robinson (2019), hiking has several health benefits. These include:

  • Hiking is a great cardiovascular form of exercise, which helps to improve blood pressure, sugar levels and overall cardiac health.
  • As hiking is a weight-baring exercise, hiking has the potential to increase bone density.
  • Hiking helps to build strength in your leg muscles.
  • Hiking helps you to strengthen your core muscles.
  • As hiking is a great form of exercise, it also helps you to manage your weight.
  • As hiking is a great form of exercise, it also helps you to boost your body’s natural feel good hormones, which in turn helps to manage symptoms of stress and anxiety.

These views are further supported by Meininger (2019) who also suggests that hiking helps to manage Vitamin D levels due to exposure to natural sunlight (even on a cloudy day), as well as helping to improve sleep and sleep health. I can attest for this as when I got to rest that night I slept like a log.

If logs do indeed sleep.

But I think you understand what I am getting at.

I hope that you have enjoyed this shorter than usual blog. It has been a rather busy week, what with getting ready for a new job, and sorting out some other things. Hopefully next week I will have a bulkier blog for you. In the meantime, thank you for following, and please feel free to leave a like and a comment.

In summary, hiking has several health benefits, which include helping to improve your cardiac health, strengthening your bones, and helping to control your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Plus it is a fantastic form of exercise which doesn’t cost a lot of money, puts you in touch with nature and with fresh air, and which is a fantastic form of exercise.

I hope you have found the blog of some help. Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely weekend wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. 

References:

Meininger K. (2019). Ten Reasons Why Hiking Is Good for You. Available: https://www.livestrong.com/article/556850-ten-reasons-why-hiking-is-good-for-you/. Last accessed 31st October 2019.

Robinson KM. (2019). How Hiking Is Good for Body and Mind. Available: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/hiking-body-mind. Last accessed 31st October 2019.

image-4

A bit about the author:

I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders. 

Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.

I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders. 

In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.

In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars.

gdl.79

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: