Hiking and it's impact on your mood

Hiking is an easy outdoor activity, which only requires your ability to walk, unless you’re like me. I suffer from plantar fasciitis and my sciatic nerve flares up quite frequently when my steps go over 10,000 on any given day hiking. But I love it.

Post rain fresh air, crisp and cold holds my back with each upward step. The mud cradling my shoes, as the weight of my heels creates my path up the trail. Birds singling melodically, their song drifting in and around my ears. Breathing in and out improves the oxygen flow in my body and removes toxins from within. Thoughts swarm around inside my head and float by with the wind, worries washed away with each exhalation of my breath. The 11,000 step climb excruciatingly difficult at times, with mud caked on my shoes, refreshed my mind, released the tension in my neck and improved my mood.

Cows lined our path up and around, grazing on grass, basking in the sun, as we meandered around them. The stream that flowed beneath where our feet pounded through the mud babbled and further relaxed the visitors in the hills.

My eyes glimpsed a bird on the branch of a tree move its heard from side to side, like clockwork, as if a switch in its brain flicked to choose the direction to look. It took flight through the leaves and entangled itself with another bird in the tree, as they danced around midair.

Pulling my mind away from the bird, I think about my podcast show and the up and coming campaign I have planned. I smile and feel elated that my work will support and help so many. I think of the 185 students in my classroom that have benefitted from mindful breathing, yoga and our community. Could more schools benefit from this? I’m most sure they can and I also have plans for that, … I smile again. Hikes are a place to reflect on your plans and goals. Relishing in the peaceful solitude of the trees, air and mud beneath my path, water beneath the trail, surrounded by birds and cows. I think. I relax, I hike.

When was the last time you hiked?