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The Benefits of Hiking

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Peter "Pete" Killcommons is a New York Medical College alumnus and a San Francisco, California resident. He is the founder and CEO of MedWeb, actively involved in running the facility's telemedicine, radiology, and disaster response divisions. In his free time, Peter Killcommons enjoys hiking, and he understands the benefits of engaging in this activity.

Hiking frequently lowers the risk of developing heart disease. This activity improves blood circulation and strengthens the heart's muscles. With time, oxygen uptake increases, improving the heart's ability to push blood without complications and enhancing the rate at which muscles absorb oxygen.

Regular hiking also combats anxiety and depression. Being outdoors, interacting with nature, and exposing the body to sunlight significantly boosts hikers' moods by promoting endorphin release. This feel-good hormone increases pleasure and reduces pain. Moreover, hiking increases the body's sensitivity to norepinephrine and serotonin, which fight depression, enabling participants to avoid negative thoughts.

Lastly, hiking improves sleep. Hikers' bodies experience a temperature rise, and when they cool down after the activity, they are easily lulled into sleep. Exposure to sunlight helps control sleep-wake patterns, ensuring hikers do not struggle to sleep at night. Cell repair and regeneration require adequate sleep, and participants experience energy boosts for the following day.