Have you ever noticed how many successful entrepreneurs like hiking, including Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and even Bill Gates?
Armin Ordodary is an entrepreneur, disciplined executive, and management consultant with a wealth of experience in FinTech and Digital Marketing. Recently, He shared his views with us about hiking and outdoor activities for entrepreneurs.
“I’m going to be honest with you: I haven’t always been as healthy and active as I am now,” he says. I wasn’t taking good care of myself after college, and I didn’t know anything about spending time in nature. However, I was aware that I needed to alter my life’s trajectory and that I desired to spend more time outside. I knew there were numerous advantages to hiking, so I said yes to hikes and backpacking trips with friends, and I pushed myself past my comfort zone – many times.
Hiking has a lot to do with why I’m so enthusiastic about encouraging folks to get outside now, more than a decade later. The advantages of hiking have been substantial for me, and I believe they may be for you as well.”
Research says walking boosts productivity
I didn’t just make an educated guess that walking would lead to better productivity. Instead, I did my homework and looked into research about the benefits of exercise in the workplace.
A study by the Foundation for Chronic Disease Prevention in the Workplace found improvement in the psychological well-being of 752 employees in the US and UK who began walking 10,000 steps per day. The improvements included their concentration, self-esteem, confidence, and a great reduction in stress. This enhanced sense of well-being was directly correlated to higher productivity.
A high number of the employees who took part in the study lost weight and had their BMI and blood pressure decreased. As a result, productivity was boosted indirectly by avoiding time wasted due to illness and lethargy caused by being overweight.
Benefits of Hiking & Outdoor activities for Entrepreneurs
Hiking and other outdoor activities provide two types of benefits to entrepreneurs: “Physical Benefits” and “Mental & Emotional Benefits.” Let’s take a look at each one separately.
- Physical Benefits
I’m going to start by discussing some of the physical benefits of hiking. While some of the physical benefits, such as weight loss, are obvious, hiking has some surprising perks.
- Hiking is good for the cardiovascular system
Hiking is an excellent exercise for the heart and lungs. In order to increase one’s aerobic fitness and endurance, even light trekking can elevate one’s heart rate somewhat. Over time, your body adjusts to new fitness levels and you can hike longer, faster, and harder without feeling as fatigued or out of breath.
Entrepreneurs are often plagued by hypertension, a common health issue. It has been proven by research that regular, moderate hiking can lower blood pressure and glucose tolerance as well as reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol over time.
- A better sense of balance can be achieved by hiking
Your leg and core muscles are constantly engaged and contracting while you walk down a trail in order to maintain your balance and stability on uneven ground. Improved balance can be attributed to the strengthening of core stabilizing muscles over time.
But it’s not just stabilizing muscles that improve balance. Hiking also helps increase proprioception, which is the mind’s awareness of the position and movement of the body in relation to its surroundings. As you hike, the brain is processing every rock and root and gauging what it will take to step over obstacles. With practice, the brain becomes more adept at judging these obstacles, and as a result, balance improves.
As we get older, it’s really important to keep working on balance in order to prevent falls. Hiking is a fun way to improve balance while spending time outdoors.
- Hiking helps to improve muscle mass
Hiking, as previously mentioned, helps create stabilizing muscles in the legs and core, which improves balance. Hiking, on the other hand, strengthens other body muscles such as the arms and back. Hiking is a fantastic exercise for practically all of the body’s major muscle groups! Uphill walking works the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, whereas downhill hiking works the ankles, hips, and core.
Using trekking poles or carrying a moderate to heavy pack might help to improve arm and back muscles when hiking.
If going to the gym isn’t your idea of a good time, try hiking! It’s a terrific whole-body workout, and as we’ll see below, it’s also a great technique to relax the mind and relieve tension.
- Mental & Emotional Benefits
- Hiking reduces stress and boosts mental health
There is a lot of evidence that connecting with nature enhances one’s mental health and well-being. Whether we’re staring out at a field of wildflowers or taking in the beautiful glow of a sunset, these brief moments of being “wowed” by nature can help us feel happier and less stressed.
Bathing in the woods is a wonderful example. This Japanese tradition is going for a stroll or hiking in the woods to reconnect with nature and withdraw from technology. “A diminished sense of self-importance relative to something broader and more powerful” might be evoked by spending time in nature. This sensation can help you relax and have a more optimistic attitude on life.
For many entrepreneurs in today’s environment, stress and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are part of daily life. Spending time in nature, on the other hand, can help us reconnect with the present moment and instill a sense of serenity and peace in our otherwise frantic life.
- Hiking improves memory and brain functionality
When you hike, blood rushes to the brain, bringing oxygen and vital nutrients with it. According to studies, increasing blood flow enhances the connections between neurons in the areas of the brain that control memory and cognition. Researchers discovered that elderly people who exercised in brief spurts had a better memory than those who did not.
We often believe that we are too preoccupied with work to go trekking. We persuade ourselves that all we have to do is keep plugging away at our computers and checking things off our to-do list. However, research shows that getting some exercise, particularly outside, might increase our focus and ability to process information, making our time at work more productive.
- Hiking is a great way to build community
An excellent approach to developing a community is hiking. In addition to fostering new friendships, group activities can alleviate feelings of doubt, concern, or fear by providing social support.
Many online sites, such as MeetUp.com or local Facebook groups and organizations, arrange group walks and expeditions, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing where or how to meet hiking companions. Outdoor clubs are another option to consider.
Hiking is a great way to meet new people and find a sense of community in your life. It’s a terrific way to make new friends and connect with individuals who share your interests.
In the long run, making hiking a part of your life can improve your physical health and increase feelings of well-being, both socially and emotionally, which is a major antidote to the stressors of the modern world.
Our brain functions like a muscle. It requires rest on a regular basis in order to reset and refresh. When you give it mental breaks at regular intervals, it returns and becomes even more productive for you. It has personally aided me in dealing with several failures in my life.
Any time spent in nature is healthy for the soul, as your body and mind will demonstrate. While science supports it, the best proof is how you feel at the end of a hike: a smile on your face, fatigued limbs, and restored after a wonderful day spent outside.