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Here's How A Hike Can Change Your Brain - It's Amazing

Do you love hiking in the great outdoors? You probably already knew that hiking is a healthy way to spend the day for your body, but did you know that hiking has been proven just as healthy for your mind? Studies show that taking a nice walk are highly beneficial to a person's mental health.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published last summer claim that a 90-minute walk through nature has a big impact on people. Researchers took surveys from people after their walk and found those walking through natural areas got a lot more out of the walk than people walking through cities.

Researchers subsequently performed brain scans on walkers and found those who hiked in nature had decreased blood flow to the region of the brain that is responsible for bad moods. Subgenual prefrontal cortex is where worrying, anger and depression come from, and hiking in nature apparently deactivates this part of the brain.

Another study in 2012 by Psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found that people who spent at least four days hiking in nature without access to technology scored 50% higher on a Remote Associates Test. This test is used to measure creative potential.

Other studies have shown hiking can improve focus and scientists believe it may delay the onset of dementia. Even just getting out in nature for a five-minute stretch can, according to the 'Journal of Environmental Science and Technology,' boost your self-esteem.

Looks like it’s not just your body that’ll thank you for a long walk—your mind will be thankful for it as well.

Source: Wimp
Photo: Waking Science

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