Most common hikers have been hiking for years. It is because they so much fall in love with it, which seems like an addiction.
You may be wondering what’s so special about hiking to the extent that people get addicted to it. And this leads us to this statement; why is hiking addictive?
Hiking can be very addictive for various reasons. Hiking is beneficial physically, medically, and mentally. For these reasons, people tend to find hiking addictive because of its advantages. Specifically, hiking is a mood-boosting activity, and it’s such an opportunity for hikers to ruminate about their lives and build confidence in themselves.
In this article, I will explain why people find hiking addictive. I will further explain the advantages of hiking.
And by the end, you will understand why people make hiking their hobby and why they tend to get addicted to it.
Is Hiking Addictive?
Yes, hiking can be addictive. But, beyond the fulfillment and benefits of exercise, hiking builds inner happiness and confidence.
Among the benefits of hiking is that it serves as a source of motivation to set achievable, big, and long-term goals. It’s possible because hiking requires a proper preparation.
Therefore, you will need to set goals on the location of the hiking trail you want to go, the distance, etc., which helps sharpen your goals-setting skill.
More so, hiking is an adventure on its own, where you can learn about many new things, such as wild animals, unique trees, etc.
Also, if you have a lot of things going on in your mind, hiking is an effective way of freeing your mind and relieving yourself of the burden.
A study reveals that hiking lowers stress and reduces anxieties. In addition, some people, for instance, writers, singers, photographers, etc., find their inspiration through sightseeing nature.
Hence, all these reasons and more are enough for hiking to be addictive.
Why Do People Find Hiking Addictive?
The main reason that causes people to find hiking addictive is because of its benefits.
Hiking is beneficial physically, psychologically, emotionally, and medically. Below are some of the advantages of hiking:
- Hiking is a form of exercise that strengthens you, makes you stay fit, and makes your body calmer and healthier.
- Psychologically, hiking is therapeutic. It’s a mood booster that helps you improve your mental health and makes you happy and fulfilled.
- Enjoying the view of nature has numerous benefits for human beings’ mental health.
- Furthermore, hiking is an excellent opportunity to free your mind, fight against depression, and meditate about your life.
- During hiking, you get to learn about different new things, and you get to discover new animals; this makes you long to go on hikes continuously.
- Hiking improves heart health. Walking down the hills enables cardio exercise, which keeps your heart sharp and healthy.
- Also, hiking helps you to manage your weight.
- Viewing nature helps to sharpen your creativity. Hence, hiking is such a fantastic activity recommended for creatives.
- Hiking helps to improve sleeping periods and quality.
You see, the satisfaction, health improvement, and excitement you derive from hiking can release neurochemicals from your body.
These neurochemicals trigger you from time to time, making you feel excited to want to seek more pleasure from hiking.
Consequently, this leaves you in a situation where you continuously crave hiking.
Even though it’s unhealthy most times, most addicted hikers find pleasure of freeing their minds.
In turn, this relieves them of stress and burden in hiking only, and this can cause them to harm in the long run.
Therefore, the benefits and the pleasure people derive from hiking are enough reasons why they find hiking addictive.
Why Is Hiking a Great Hobby?
Anything you find yourself doing, especially during your pleasure time, that brings you joy and makes you feel good while doing it, regardless of the difficulties attached is your hobby.
Hence, if hiking gives you happiness and you feel fulfilled whenever you do it, it is your hobby.
However, hiking is a physical activity that demands strength and utmost endurance, so some people do not see it as a hobby.
If you are the type that finds walking a long distance difficult, you may not find hiking worthy of being a hobby.
Regardless, regular hikers can testify to how excited and pleased someone can be while hiking and even after doing it.
The physical, emotional, and medical benefits of hiking are reasonable enough to make hiking one’s hobby.
However, to name hiking your hobby, you must be content and ready to endure every difficulty that comes with it.
The difficulties include the hiking terrains you choose, weather elements, etc. Hiking provides you with a sense of purpose.
Hiking makes you intentional about setting goals on how often you want to do it, how far you can go, etc., directly affecting your day-to-day activities.
Also, what you encounter during your previous hiking will differ from what you will encounter the next time you go.
Thus, the excitement of the unknown and the new things you will discover during the next hike will make you want to do it continuously, unconsciously making hiking your hobby.
Examples of the set of people that make hiking their hobby are nature photographers, writers, singers, etc.
Hiking is an excellent opportunity for nature photographers to take pictures of new and unique animals, trees, springs, etc. The discoveries make photographers continuously go on hiking.
Also, singers and writers get better inspiration from nature, and where there’s less noise, this makes hiking an extraordinary resort.
You may wonder if there’s any difference between choosing hiking as a hobby and getting addicted to hiking.
Check the table below for more enlightenment:
|Hiking As a Hobby||Hiking As an Addiction|
|It makes you feel good whenever you do it.||It also makes you feel good, but disorders may be attached.|
|A hobby is healthy most times.||Addiction isn’t healthy most times.|
|Abstinence from it may be a little difficult, but free from any effects.||Abstinence from it can lead to psychological, physical, or social effects.|
|You only like doing it; not doing it cannot make you feel unsettled.||You feel unsettled until you do it.|
|The inclination to do it isn’t so strong.||The inclination to do it is extremely strong.|
What Does Hiking Do to Your Brain?
Generally, all forms of exercise are good for the brain. However, hiking is an excellent exercise that keeps your body and brain health; it reduces stress and calms tensions.
Hiking helps your brain stay healthy and sharp. It refreshes and rejuvenates your brain. Being in nature improves your attention and concentration.
Research shows that people who spend more time in nature are more creative and fast in thinking when it comes to problem-solving tasks. Hiking is such an unpredictable activity.
You don’t know what you will encounter when walking down the hills; hence, you need cognitive skills to help you navigate the hiking trail, regardless of your difficulties.
While hiking, you will face problems such as overhanging branches of trees on your way, slippery dirt, wild animals, hidden obstacles, etc.
Meanwhile, to overcome these challenges, your brain must work perfectly to provide immediate solutions to the problems; this makes your brain stay fit every time.
A cognitive psychologist and senior research scientist once said, “working out also prevents the loss of total brain volume that happens with age.”
As human beings age, after reaching age 40, 1 percent of their brain matter loses; however, regular workout helps prevent this and keeps the brain healthier.
A study also reveals that one of the best ways to prevent dementia, a medical condition related to cognitive depletion, such as memory impairments, is to exercise regularly.
Therefore, hiking not only improves heart health but is also one of the incredible ways of keeping the brain fit, sharp, and healthy.
Generally, human beings likely repeat any activity that brings them joy and makes them feel at ease.
Meanwhile, to some people, hiking is the best example of such an activity. The unpredictable part of hiking is one of the things that make it more fun.
Also, people tend to find hiking addictive because of its emotional, physical, and medical benefits.
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