By Caitlyn Dang
When it’s the beginning of Fall Semester here at Dominican University of California, and everyone is still experiencing the frenzy of adjusting to new classes and acclimating to DU student life, things like mental and physical health often are put on the back burner. Unless you’re a student athlete, you are responsible for making healthy choices and adding physical activity to your weekly routine.
Although many of us can find solace at the gym at Conlan center, there are more adventurous options; one of these being hiking. What makes hiking such a healthy addition to a college student’s life?
Hiking Promotes Creativity
Those of you enrolled in creative writing and research and classes could benefit from a spontaneous nature walk. According to a Healthy Living article shared by the Huffington Post, research shows that outdoor activity can increase creative problem solving skills and lengthen attention spans by up to 50%. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education researchers also found that simply the act of walking sparks more creativity than sitting.
Hiking Keeps You Fit and Healthy
Every Body Walk, an organization dedicated to encouraging healthy living, lists weight loss, increase in bone density and energy levels, and endurance as some of their article titled, 15 Benefits of Hiking. You also shouldn’t feel discouraged if you’re a beginner hiker because even hiking at your own pace, “helps increase your HDL levels, the good cholesterol, and lowers your triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels; the harmful components,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hiking Makes You Happier
Research stated in the Huffington Post article mentioned earlier, also refers to hiking as a form of therapy that can lessen symptoms of hopelessness, sadness, and suicidality in people with severe depression. Developing the healthy habit of being active while appreciating nature can even inspire those who are depressed to live a more healthy lifestyle.
Where You Can Hike Around DU
One of the greatest things about our campus is that it is located in the center of Marin County, and Marin is littered with amazing trails waiting to be explored. You can see some trails near campus in San Rafael at the All Trails website, but the one that is the most frequented by Dominican Students is literally in our back yard. Most students will call it the “Fire Trail,” but the trail actually leads up to San Pedro Mountain. The trail starts from a fire trail that is located at the end of Locust Road, just behind Edgehill Village, and has many places to stop and take in the view.
What are you waiting for? Take a study break, grab a friend, and let the adventuring begin!