Combat holiday stress and weight gain with hiking

The holidays are drawing near, and it should be the season to be merry, but let’s face it — sometimes it isn’t. Unfortunately, the demands and heightened emotions this time of year can occasionally cause stress and anxiety. That stress may also lead to weight gain in addition to other factors such as sleep deprivation and parties with excessive food and alcohol.

John Muir, the great conservationist and outdoorsman, once said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

Mr. Muir was correct. Hiking offers a lot — with far more benefits than we may overtly realize.

There are the obvious reasons we love to hike — the fresh air, epic vistas, mountain sunsets, beautiful waterfalls and all the sounds and smells of nature. But did you know that a walk in the woods provides tremendous welfare to our overall health — not only by improving our body, but also aiding our mental well-being?

Hiking is great cardio exercise and it boasts all the normal health benefits. It lowers the risk of heart disease, decreases cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, and is wonderful to assist in preventing type II diabetes.

And yes, it will help control that extra holiday weight by burning up to 500 calories per hour.

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