HIKING HOLIDAYS TO BOOST MENTAL HEALTH

Outdoor Fitness Adventure|January 2020

HIKING HOLIDAYS TO BOOST MENTAL HEALTH
While hiking is a wonderful way to get fit, it is also noted for its benefits for mental wellbeing.
Claire Blackmore

It’s no secret that spending more time outdoors does wonders for your mental health. For decades, wellness experts, seasoned walkers and even doctors have claimed that green spaces are good for you – with scientific proof to back it up. Various studies have shown that people who spend more time surrounded by nature experience less stress, depression and anxiety, and more positive emotions as a result. So it’s no surprise that people are seeking more ways to incorporate the outdoors into their everyday lives. We’re not just talking about an extra midweek run or a longer Sunday cycle to clear the cobwebs, either. The need to nurture our mental wellbeing is spilling over into travel as holidaymakers are increasingly swapping wine-fuelled weeks in the sunshine for something a little more soul-cleansing.

According to data gathered by the Global Wellness Institute, ‘wellness tourism’ is the fastest-growing sector in travel. Worth over $600bn, it’s expanding at double the speed of overall tourism and is only expected to gain traction. Health-focused trips pack their itineraries with a mix of mindfulness, fitness and nourishing food, offering tourists a therapeutic way to switch off. Their aim? To make people feel renewed and refreshed, rather than frazzled, when they return home. Not only do they tap into the need for better mental and physical health by way of more exercise and less alcohol, but wellness breaks often take place in adventurous locations, meaning travellers get to satisfy their wanderlust while boosting their wellbeing, too.

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January 2020