Benefits of a post-work weekday hike

After hiking with a friend after work, I felt so great and refreshed. It made me think about how many benefits hiking has, and more specifically, the fact that you're ending your day with a hike.

1. Stress relief

It's important to get your mind off work and the stresses of everyday life. Being in nature has a meditative effect and allows you to wind down mentally after a hard day at work.

2. Social bonding

This is a great time to reconnect with friends who live nearby, yet you never seem to have time to meet up with. If you both love hiking, this is a perfect way to bond, and you'll be able to hear each other better, too, than if you had gone to happy hour at a noisy bar to chat.

3. Exercise

If you're the average worker, you spend over 8 hours sitting per day, and you need to get the blood flowing in your legs! This infographic did an excellent job of remind me that sitting is literally killing us. Also, you'll be strengthening knees and ankles, getting in your required bit of cardio per day, and losing weight (if you need it... just don't use the hike as an excuse to go overboard for dinner).

4. Fresh air

This is something you rarely have access to in smoggy Los Angeles, where I live. No other exercise I can think of matches hiking in this regard: you get to escape from the car exhaust on the streets and breathe fresh air for an hour an a half. Woohoo!

5. Boost your mood

The boost of endorphins in your brain is a side effect of exercising, and not something to take lightly, especially if you've hard a hard day at work. After all, the end goal of life is to be happy.

6. Sense of accomplishment

Everyone has those days where you feel like you didn't get anything done at work. Well, this is your chance to make up for it. This is something you're doing for the long-term benefit of your physical and mental health.

Of course, there are a many other positive effects of hiking on a regular basis, and of aerobic exercise in general. Live longer, increase your stamina, reduce your health risks, and boost your immune system, just to name a few. The above six points are merely the ones that I felt were specific to the benefits of going hiking after work, as opposed to during a weekend, when you're generally more relaxed and spending time going out with friends, anyway.

Do you have any time management tips for squeezing in a hike after work? Share them in the comments!

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