Walking Outdoors Is Not Just For Your Body

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Hiking is a wonderful low impact activity that burns a ton of calories and is good for our lower body, heart, and lungs. There’s nothing like fresh mountain air and beautiful terrain.

Research indicates that hiking outdoors is not just good for our physical body, but it is also a great way to keep our minds sharp, boost our mood, increase our energy and strengthen relationships. 

Daniel Levitin, the author of “Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives” suggests that since we have to navigate uneven terrain while hiking, it helps to keep our brains sharp. 

One study showed that taking a long walk can strengthen relationships, build connection and rapport and help to resolve conflict.

Another study found that walking in nature can increase energy and reduce anger and the symptoms of depression.

While another study found that walking outdoors can improve self-esteem. 

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We are fortunate enough to be so close to the Gorge, Mt. St. Helen’s, Mt. Hood, and the Coast. You can explore local trails right here in Clark County with minimal elevation, but maximum scenery.

Try some of these amazing local trails:

Lacamas Lake & Round Lake Trail

Battle Ground Lake

Moulton Falls trail

Lewis River Park Trail

Discover/Burnt Bridge Trail

Waterfront Trail & Salmon Creek Trail

…the options are endless including amazing Forest Park in Portland!

Here are some of my favorite, more lengthy hikes in our region:

June Lake – 3 mile hike (Mt. St. Helens)

Mirror Lake 4 mile hike (Mt. Hood) 

Angel’s Rest 5 mile hike (Oregon side Gorge)

Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls 5 mile loop (Oregon side gorge) 

Cape Horn 7 mile Loop (Washington Side Gorge)

Hamilton Mountain 9 mile Loop (Washington Side gorge) 

Dog Mountain 8 mile hike (Washington side gorge) *Confirm whether permit required

Enjoy the majestic views and take a moment to be thankful for what a beautiful area we live in while realizing that you are benefitting your body, mind and spirit.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


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