Hiking Is Good for Body & Soul

Bored with the treadmill? Head outside for a change of scenery and a whole world full of health benefits.

As much as Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center employees enjoy working together, we also look forward to spending time together out of the office. Lakeland Surgical has a Wilderness group that plans outdoor activities IMG_3430for its employees and their family members. It’s a time to disconnect from devices and connect with one another. Recently a group of 50 went on a night-time kayak trip to Merritt Island to see bioluminescence, the production and emission of light by a living organism. Now that cooler weather is in sight, the Wilderness club is planning more hikes, zip lining, canoeing and horseback riding.

Hiking is excellent aerobic exercise that improves cardio-respiratory fitness, lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cholesterol. Research shows it may even help prevent certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer. Because it is weight-bearing exercise, it increases bone density. Because it uses almost every muscle group, it leads to leaner, more toned muscles in the lower body, which helps take pressure off joints, a major boon for those with arthritis. Hiking over uneven terrain also provides a terrific core workout. Want to lose a few pounds? Hiking is a calorie-burner – about 370 per hour for a 150-pound person.

In addition to those physical benefits, hiking reduces depression and helps you sleep better.

Just being outside offers its own health benefits. Enjoying nature gives us a break from the cell phones, computers and TVs that dominate our days, providing some much-needed quiet time in our otherwise noisy world. Fresh air and being outside helps clear our heads and reduce stress. Being outside also provides vitamin D, which even those of us in the Sunshine State tend to lack.

Hiking is good for your physical and mental well-being. This fall, make time to get outside and do something good for yourself!

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