There's no doubt about it: Hiking is having a moment. By now, we know spending time in nature comes with tremendous benefits. It has a scientifically proven anti-inflammatory effect on the body, it promotes a healthier microbiome, and Japanese Forest Bathing—or shinrin-yoku—has been associated with reduced stress, lower blood pressure, and a stronger immune system.
Exercise has a similar effect on the body. From greater feelings of happiness to reduced heart disease risk, you'd be hard-pressed to find a medical professional who doesn't recommend regular exercise. And while many of us have turned to our local yoga studios for a dose of calm movement, 2018 has brought a resistance against spending so much of our time inside, and that includes for workouts.
"It's only natural that there's a backlash against our 95 percent indoor lifestyle, eight daily hours of social media consumption and indoor boutique gym workouts," explains Michelle Cady, health coach and FitVista founder. While the benefits of yoga are tremendous and it's not likely to ever go away, experts say hiking is moving to the forefront as the go-to stress-busting, peaceful workout. Here's why.