There is an understated simplicity of hiking. One foot presses on in front of the other. Eyes scan the path for our foothold, then into the distance and our surrounds taking in the environment. The sounds of the forest, beach or parks reach our ears in a song of birds, beach waves crashing or wind through the trees. We are interconnected with the world around us and melt into the web.
Nature walks aka hiking, is our place to reset. Our primal nature that lies deep in our DNA recognizes when we are ‘home’. In colour psychology, green represents calm, tranquility, health and is believed to relieve stress and assist in healing.
Green is the colour of Nature and the visual connection we have is deep rooted in our primal DNA. Where there is green, there is water, life and our survival. At a cellular level our bodies recognize this security and activate our parasympathetic nervous system to rest and digest.
Intuitively, deep within our bones there is an instinct, a euphoric feeling that is often hard to describe when we immerse ourselves in Nature. We crave this feeling, this sense of well-being, this sense of comfort physiologically.
Hiking gets your outdoors. It’s not an exercise that can be done indoors watching Netflix. Depending on your cadence it can provide a stimulating challenge. A great cardio vascular workout traversing trails up the side of a mountain or sand walking, our entire body utilizes large muscle groups to provide strength and support. Our leg muscles burn as we climb and our oblique wrap tight to support our spine as we push through the invisible barriers of our mind.
Connect within a group of like-minded people and you level up the benefits. As humans we thrive on a sense of belonging. A connection with others. Our early ancestors relied on a social network to not only survive but thrive by eating, sleeping, hunting and playing together.
Physiologically when we are connected in our network we are delivered with a hit of feel good hormones and neurotransmitters, providing throughout human evolution the reward of feeling good. We repeat these behaviours and essentially pass on this genetic code to our offspring as a way of conserving the knowledge and developing the human race.