Being outside is great for your mental health. The evidence is growing, despite the fact that, to me at least, it seems intuitively so. Some of the best times of my life came. when I was most at peace were in Sweden, and specifically during the winter in Abisko National Park.
Natural beauty seems to have a profoundly restorative effect on the mental health and wellness of human beings. To commit to spending a good portion of one’s life outdoors is a transformative habit in which to engage oneself.
The whole world has stunning locations that are cheap and easy to reach. Below is Pirin Mountain, Bulgaria, where I hiked up to meet my friend snowboarding from the top. This trip cost me less than £200.
The beauty of the natural world is that it is everywhere, however. There is no need to travel far. One the the great things about living in England is how well preserved our countryside has been down the years.
In Lancashire where I live natural surroundings are a fifteen minute walk in any direction, the Yorkshire Dales a 45 minute drive away, and Cumbria around 90 minutes. It’s everywhere, all you have to do is look for it.
Hiking is free you know! It is also access to priceless sights and experiences.
The most satisfying part of the hiking experience for me is when I arrive home and the kids and the dog fall asleep almost immediately and then do not stir all night! The last hiking season we did we used to take our hound and she would literally not move for two days after expeditions – such a great feeling. Obviously the whole day spent outdoors is fantastic and the feel good factor of having walked miles or climbed a mountain is great, as is the endorphin hit. It also feels like a day well spent and I can tell you now that no workout in the world that you will ever do can compare to the resistance exercise obtained climbing and scrambling over rocky fells and mountains. God that is seriously hard work, and your muscles will thank you for years.
So get outside and see the true beauty of the natural world.