2021. 12. 2.(목)


Take a Hike

[884호 15면, 발행일 : 2018년 11월 7일(수)] As we enter week 9 of the semester, it is quite common for…

By editor , in Globe , at 2019년 7월 25일

[884호 15면, 발행일 : 2018년 11월 7일(수)]

As we enter week 9 of the semester, it is quite common for students and professors alike to begin feeling tired, and a little burnt out. Midterm exams and the past couple months of homework might be over, but the stress from all of that studying may still be affecting your mood, or even your health. If you are feeling tired, depressed, or just lacking motivation maybe it’s time to take a hike and got some fresh air. It is no secret that exercise is good for you, but did you know that walking has been shown by science to be the only exercise that promotes both physical and mental health without putting too much strain on the body. In fact, in the places found to have the highest numbers of centenarians (people living to be over one hundred years old), this is one of the common factors, is that they get regular exercise, but not too intense. Walking, hiking, or other low impact physical activities is great for the body, but scientists have also found that getting out into nature has a number of benefits for your mental health. Studies show that people who live in urban areas generally have higher levels of stress and depression compared with people who live in the countryside. These same studies have shown that people who live in the city but take time to get out into nature have considerably less stress and anxiety than those who don’t. But what exactly are the benefits that getting out into nature can have? Well, one particular study that involved over 250 participants found that when people spend some time in the forest, they have a lower pulse rate, a decrease in blood pressure, and lower concentrations of cortisol (the hormone that is released in response to stress). Simply put, their overall stress levels were much lower after enjoying some time in nature, even though they lived in cities. Of course, we don’t all have time to go to Jiri-san every weekend, but living in Jeonju, we are lucky to have access to many trails within the city limits. Here people of all ages can spend as much or as little time as they want hiking through the trees and forgetting about the daily grind. So the next time you are feeling a bit stressed, or need an energy boost, grab your hiking boots, head for the nearest trail, and see the difference a little fresh air can make.

Daniel kilduff  |  ysrest@jj.ac.kr

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