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10 Reasons Why Hikers Are More Likely to Be Successful

10 Reasons Why Hikers Are More Likely to Be Successful

It is no longer news that hiking has many physical and emotional benefits. Even though millions of Americans and people worldwide know this, many do not see the importance of this kind of exercise. At a time when organizations are looking for ways to improve workplace productivity, develop leaders, and help employees work more efficiently, it is important to look beyond just the therapeutic benefits and discover how hikers are more likely to be successful.

1. They have lower stress levels

According to the president of the American Hiking society, “Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that.” People who hike are better able to deal with moods and are more positive, according to some studies. Hiking combats symptoms of stress and anxiety.

2. They have more endurance

Hiking has a way of testing our endurance and perseverance. If you are carrying a backpack while hiking, your body and mind are both challenged and improve their strength and endurance. Your body is pushed to its limits, and you are tested: will you turn back or keep going?

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3. They are healthier

According to a study done by Austrian researchers, hiking accomplished in different ways has different influences on the fats and sugars in the bloodstream. Additionally, hiking provides you with your daily dose of Vitamin D, lowers your risk of dying from cancer, alleviates your sleep, prevents and controls diabetes, and increases your bone density.

4. They have more energy

Hiking is an aerobic activity. Such activities bring extra oxygen and fuel to your muscles and other body tissues. This strengthens your muscles and lungs and, at the same time, increases your agility and alertness.

5. They are more focused

Hiking improves your focus, which is an important element of success. While hiking, you are able to get away from the distractions of technology and day-to-day life that can crush your spirit and weigh you down. Hikers have fewer distractions as they walk through nature. Their minds are cleared and their cognitive ability is improved.

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6. They are physically fit

One of the foremost benefits of hiking is the physical fitness attached to it. Success requires good health and physical fitness. Hiking keeps your weight under control and burns calories. At a slow pace of 2 miles per hour, a person who weighs 150 pounds can burn approximately 240 calories per hour.

7. They are independent

Hiking comes with responsibility. You cannot rely on technology; in fact, you may not even be familiar with the territory. With a heightened sense of responsibility, the hiker is forced to be self sufficient and independent, resilient and tough.

8. They are more creative

According to this study, backpackers scored 50% higher on a creativity test after spending four days in the great outdoors. Nature has a way of relaxing the mind and increasing your attention span by allowing you to rest, leaving much-needed room for reflection.

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9. They have an improved memory

Multitasking and regular day-to-day distractions have a way of impacting our brains negatively. Research shows that exposure to nature through hiking causes significant changes in the brain. Hiking lets you think more clearly, develop a greater focus and recall ability, and develops your cognitive skills.

10. They appreciate the simple things of life

For the hiker, it is not about the benefits or the rewards. Rather, it is about the experience of being close to nature, lost in a moment of discovery and adventuring to an unknown territory. This is what success means. And somewhere along this line, they value the simple provisions life has offered them.

Now that you know, will you take the extra effort and go on a hike?

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Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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