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Outdoor Therapy - Hiking is Cooler than you think

Location: Matthei Botanical Gardens Hiking Trails. Meet in Conservatory Lobby

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:

Hike:  Approximately 3 miles. Easy Terrain.

Cost:  $2 - $5 for parking. 

Wear good hiking boots or tennis shoes with good traction.  Dress warm!

12:30- 12:45- Meet n Greet fellow Hikers. 

12:45- Hike for approximately 3 miles.

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  • Shannon

    SO sorry i missed it. looking to join future ones.

    March 24, 2014

  • Barbara A.

    Great Hike, even the bonus miles!

    1 · March 23, 2014

  • Dale

    Was such a nice day, great to be out in the sun. Thank you all!

    1 · March 23, 2014

  • Jamie

    Great day!

    1 · March 23, 2014

  • janet l.

    nice sunny day, good leader. great location and great to get out!

    2 · March 23, 2014

  • seema

    Sorry! Not free till 1:30pm today. Next time!

    March 23, 2014

  • Cecilia

    GPS says 1250

    March 23, 2014

  • Cecilia

    Hey guys I'm coming just got a little lost I'll be there shortly

    March 23, 2014

  • Lisa

    I can't go:(((( I will hit it next time tho. Have a good hike people;)))

    March 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I found great hiking shoes at REI! :)

    3 · March 22, 2014

    • Jamie

      I just got a pair of Solomon's and wore them on a hike a couple weeks ago. The staff there is great!

      1 · March 22, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Part of the reason I couldn't make the hike last week was lack of appropriate footwear. It's hard for me to find usually because I wear kid sizes or size 5 in women's. Luckily REI had a couple shoes in size 5 and they are super comfy! (Thanks to the members of this Meetup who pointed me in that direction!)

      1 · March 23, 2014

  • Veda S.

    Ill be a first timer - do I need to do anything else aside from the RSVP on here? Thanks! -Veda

    March 22, 2014

  • Scott

    Are dogs allowed on the hike? :)

    1 · March 20, 2014

    • Scott

      I called them and they do allow dogs, so I might bring mine :)

      1 · March 21, 2014

    • Josh

      My experience is that dogs always improve hikes.

      March 21, 2014

  • Josh

    It seems like Sunday always ends up being the coldest day of the week! Slowly warming up though.

    1 · March 19, 2014

  • Shannon

    I'm new too! and will definitely try to make this!

    1 · March 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I live in Okemos a little ways away, but it sounds like fun and if it's a sunny day would even be better. I will have to do a MapQuest and see just how far of a drive it would be.

    March 18, 2014

  • Lisa

    I'm new so I hope I don't need permission to come. But if I do let me know:)

    March 18, 2014

    • Charity M.

      No permission needed. Our hikes are open to anyone and everyone.

      March 18, 2014

  • Judi

    Hey, Lisa! Welcome. All you need to do is RSVP, which it looks like you did. I can't make this week's walk but I'm sure you'll have a great time.

    1 · March 18, 2014

24 went

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