Improve your Mental Health

Hiking and mental health
Hiking can improve your mental health. An Alpenwild group posing for photos on the balcony trail above Val Ferret. The Italian side of Mont Blanc is visible in the background, peaking out of the clouds. Photo by Jennifer Stretton

Have you seen our new Swiss hiking video,  “Benefits of Hiking?” In the video, several benefits of hiking are listed including:

  • Cardio workout
  • Muscle exercise
  • Core strengthening
  • Combat Alzheimer’s
  • Improves blood pressure
  • Increases bone density

Rumor has it that Swiss hiking tours combat depression and improve mental health, too.

A Stanford Study

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas and 1 in 12 adults in the U.S. reportedly have depression. A Stanford study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, unearthed quantifiable evidence that people who walk in natural settings are less likely to be depressed than those who walk in busy, urban settings.

Those who walked in the natural environment experienced a decrease of brain activity in the front of their brains(the subgenual prefrontal cortex) compared to participants who walked in a busy urban setting. The subgenual prefrontal cortex is active during rumination of negative thoughts; a pattern of thinking which left unchecked can lead to poor mental health and clinical depression. Therefore, the evidence lead researchers to hypothesize that spending time in an urban environment increases the chances someone will become depressed. However, spending time in a natural setting combats the chances of becoming depressed. The results of this study open the door to understanding how hiking in nature can help us feel better mentally. Whether or not you live in an urban area, take time to rejuvenate, improve your mental health and combat depression, come join us on an Alpenwild Swiss hiking tour.

Swiss Hiking Tours

At Alpenwild, we are a team of Swiss Travel Certified Switzerland Specialists. We offer a wide variety of guided and self-guided hiking tours across Switzerland and beyond:

  • Best of the Swiss Alps
  • Exploring the Jungfrau
  • The Dolomites
  • Best of the French Alps
  • Lucerne and Appenzell
  • Matterhorn and St. Moritz
  • Jungfrau and Saas-Fee Wildflower hikes
  • Bernese Alps
  • Bernese Oberland Waterfalls and Wonders

If you would rather not hike but still want to get out and enjoy nature, consider experiencing an Alpenwild rail or chocolate tour. Call an Alpenwild Swiss Travel Specialist at 801-226-9026 to book your invigorating adventure today!

Benefits of Hiking infographic

Emily Jones
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