How hiking can make you mentally and physically stronger

Serendipitously, her last name is Bliss.

Perhaps that’s not such a coincidence when you realize the immense joy Lauralee Bliss has discovered during her 10,000 miles of hiking. She’s traversed some of the most beautiful, secluded parts of this country, trekking the entire Appalachian Trail two times. Bliss has also completely tackled the Colorado and Florida Trails, among other walking adventures.

From her time in the wilderness, Bliss says if you’re seeking serenity, you might want to literally take a hike.

“Nature is the healing remedy we need in life,” says Bliss, who is now traveling across the country talking to the public to spread this message. “And not just watching birds at a feeder — which I love to do, by the way — or mowing your lawn or gardening. All are beneficial. But nothing can compare to a long distance hike in the woods where you immerse yourself in that nature.”

Bliss adds that a number of studies have shown the healing power of nature, including elevating your heart rate and mood. She also cites groups such as the Wounded Warriors Project, which utilize trail hiking as therapy.

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