Past Meetup

Outdoor Therapy - Hiking is Cooler than you think

This Meetup is past

20 people went


Added 12/19/13:
For those interested, Charlie will be leading an extended hike of about 7-8 miles. We will all start from the same place and hike together for the first 3-4 miles.

Location: Kensington Metropark Nature Center - Don't use Meetup maps, instead use this one to Meet us in the Kensington Nature Center - Kensington Nature Center (

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 3-4 miles. Terrain is moderate

Cost: Free if you have a Metroparks Pass, $5 if you don't.

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

1:00 noon - 1:30 - Meet n' Greet in the Kensington Nature Center. Get to know your fellow hikers in a relaxed and interesting setting. Live critters to visit, learn about Kensington Nature Area.

1:30 - Hit the trails with your fellow hikers

Hike for approximately 1.5 hours


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