Modern life. Fast paced, stressful and unrelenting. In today’s sped up world it’s very easy to forget about your own personal health. High levels of stress and overworking can lead to numerous health problems, including depression, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, insomnia and so on. Stressors are all around us, and sometimes both your body and your mind need to take a break from the hassle of everyday life.
And what better place to get some activity and fresh air than a mountaintop? The cool, crisp mountain air, beautiful view, and preserved nature make hiking an ideal activity for reducing stress levels and increasing your quality of life. Studies have shown that hiking lowers risk of heart disease, increases your cardiovascular endurance, strengthens your core, builds muscle, and successfully fights the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Hiking is also a great way to lose some weight, as it can use up to an amazing 370 calories per hour. Along with the benefits of exercise, the mountain air has some unexpected health benefits as well, known as climatotherapy. Spending time in a different, cleaner, more suitable climate, has helped millions of people around the world. The mountain air helps in strengthening the nervous and immune system, as well as improving your metabolism. It’s no wonder top world athletes train at high altitudes! The mountains offer a nice getaway, and can really help you put life in perspective and your thoughts in order. It is a very humbling and gratifying experience climbing to the top of a mountain and taking a look down. An excellent way to get away from all the pollution, noise and buzz of the city!
If hiking isn’t really your cup of tea, then another great way to get the benefits of a new, healing climate, and plenty of exercise is taking a trip to the sea. Whether you’re swimming, cruising on a boat, or relaxing on the beach, the sea has plenty of health benefits which are known for centuries. The salt sea water and air offer a unique climate which does wonders for your respiratory system. Another benefit of the climate is the abundance of warm sun rays. Even though UV rays have been dubbed as harmful in recent years, in moderation they’ll make your skin look better than ever, as well as having an antibacterial effect. If you decide to do more than just lying around and relaxing on the beach, swimming is an amazing activity which uses almost every muscle in your body. A great way to increase muscle mass without putting unnecessary stress on your joints, swimming also improves flexibility, increases cardiovascular endurance, improves cholesterol, helps with controlling your weight, and is a great way to get that six pack you’ve always wanted. Even if you don’t engage in any sport activities, simply lying on the beach, relaxing with a cool drink, or your favorite book, and feeling the sand between your toes is more than enough to settle your thoughts and reduce stress levels.
Take control of your health today. Live a longer, happier, and disease-free life. Taking a vacation at least once a year can decrease stress levels and cut your chance of suffering a heart attack in half. An active vacation, filled with activities such as hiking or swimming, offers even more health benefits, both physical and mental. So what are you waiting for?
Your body and your mind will thank you.
Photo courtesy: Like2sail