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Outdoor Therapy - Hiking is Cooler than you think- Matthaei Ann Arbor

Location:  Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor, MI

Your brain is no different than rest of the muscles in your body--you either use it or you lose it. 

As a Mental Health Therapist and a Lifelong Outdoor Enthusiast, I know by experience and education how important outdoor exercise is. This hike is cross posted with my hiking group.

Studies have shown that hiking in the Great Outdoors is not only good for the body but also Great for the Brain. A few factoids: 

1. Fresh Air and Natural Vitamin D from the sun (even overcast sun) increases lung capacity and melatonin which makes the Brain happier, even on grey days! 

2. Decreases Stress, Depression, Anxiety, confusion, Seasonal Affective Disorder and let's just say it.... The winter blahs due to increases of Norepinephrine 

3. Boosts Brain function by increasing brain plasticity and stimulates Seratonin, Endorphins, Glutamate, Dopamine and other areas that create happiness or pleasure. 

4. Improves memory and learning by increasing important chemicals that help prevent degeneration of the Hippocampus. 

5. Socializing with fellow hikers increases enjoyment level which helps the brain crave exercise more instead of dreading it. 

6. Outdoor physical activity has a 50% greater positive effect on mental health than going to the gym.

Details and Itinerary:

Matthei has: 

An indoor conservatory where you get to walk through a lush rain forest and a dry desert as well as beautiful hiking trails outdoors.

We are doing both. 

Cost: parking is a Maximumum of $5 for the day. Conservatory and Hiking Trails are FREE.

1:15- Meet inside Conservatory lobby

1:30-2:30- Meander, Explore and chat with others inside the Conservatory

2:30- Meet back in Conservatory Lobby


2:30-4:30ish- Hit the trails! We will hike approx. 3-4 miles on easy, yet beautiful terrain.

Join or login to comment.

  • Kathryn

    I've loved Matthaei since I was a kid!

    January 13, 2014

  • Melani

    I'd love to do this, but unfortunately I don't drive. If anyone in the Inkster/Dearborn/Westland/Garden City/etc. area is going and wouldn't mind a ride along, please let me know.

    January 12, 2014

5 went

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