This is probably not news to avid hikers, who often hit the trails to clear their minds and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, but now studies have proven their theory. Hiking is good for mental health.
A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin. It’s not just all in your head (excuse the pun). All that fresh air really is working!
According to scientists those who walk for just 90 minutes in the great outdoors experience lower levels of stress and anxiety. This is primarily due to reduced activity in the subgenus prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain related to mental illness.
A walking break in Ireland will take you away from the cities and into a natural rural habitat. You’ll be walking for alot longer than 90 minutes a day too, giving your brain the time and space to fully recover from the stresses of modern life.
Switch off your phone
You’ve heard the rumours about connectivity increasing our stress levels. That shining light in your pocket that’s always vibrating and distracting you from living in the moment. Scientists believe that you can increase your problem solving abilities by shutting off your pesky devices. Tech free hiking is a great way to make some decisions with renewed clarity. If you want to rely on GPS co ordinates from Irelandways.com, no problem. Just pre load your routes and turn off your mobile data for an interruption free hike.
Exercise boosts cognitive ability
We’ve already learned how beneficial walking is for our state of mind, but its also a fantastic workout. Low impact steady state cardio, or LISS for short, is a great way of burning calories with little chance of injury. You can burn 400-700 calories per hour on the trail, which means you’ll have plenty of spare calories for some delicious Irish food and even a couple of pints of Guiness. Researchers have found that hiking can lower stress and anxiety, boost self esteem, and release endorphins. Treat yourself with a break for mind body and soul in Ireland soon.
For more information on any of our walking or cycling tours, please contact the travel specialists.