20's, 30's, & 40's (general age range of the group but all welcome!!)
***please try to be early if possible, we do depart 7:15 sharp***
Meet at 7 PM, but leave at 7:15 PM. Meet in front of the ranger station (the one in the picture). Parking is in the free parking lot. We'll go on a 4-6 miles RT 800 feet elevation gain hike. Hike will be approx 2-2 1/2 hours. Bring water, sweater since we'll be hiking in the dark, shoes with good traction.
Bring water, sweater and sneakers with good traction!
Meet by lights--near building.
Ranger Station is by merry-go-round. There's a stop sign where it is. The Mapquest, Google, Apple Maps directions may take you too far. Use this map to find the Ranger Station (http://files.meetup.com/1205964/RangerStationMeetingSpot2.jpg).
If you leave early, please tell one of the organizers so we know that you are safe.
These Friday night hikes are now open to non-singles (married people, couples or people in relationships). You can bring your non-singles friends who just want to get exercise.
Rain cancels hike--including light rain.
If for some reason you get seperated from us, Ranger Station Tele. # Phone: (323) 913-4688.
Map of Griffith Park: http://angeles.sierraclub.org/griffith/griffith_park_map.html
***BENEFITS OF HIKING***
The Physical Benefits
The first benefit that most individuals will see is the aforementioned cardiovascular one. Most hikes require some form of vigorous hill climbing for prolonged periods of time, ranging from four or five hours to hikes that can last up to eight or nine hours. Many individuals treat hiking as a form of physical exercise, and while they might have some sort of daily regimen back in the city, such as strength training (http://www.ultrafitnessdynamics.com/2886/the-benefits-of-hiking/) or aerobics in a gym setting or at home, they use spare time on the weekends to venture into the wild and experience nature up close and personal while also getting a good workout.
Beyond the simple cardiovascular workout that vigorous hiking can provide is the fact that at its most basic level it is a type of interval training, with periods of significant effort followed by either flat areas or resting points along the way. It is also a great way to achieve total body fitness because one set of muscles will be used on the way up, while an entirely different set of muscles are used on the decline. These are not only the muscles of the legs, but also the muscles in the upper body when carrying a backpack, and the various core muscles throughout the trunk which keep one balanced on trails that are not always necessarily level.
Beyond the Physical
Beyond the physiological effects of hiking, there are also the psychological effects to take into consideration. Heightened stress levels are scientifically proven to be detrimental to the health of a human being over the course of their entire life, and reducing those stress levels is considered crucial for health and well-being. Many individuals find hiking through nature to be one of the most peaceful and relaxing activities they can participate in, because it provides an escape from traffic and the various stresses related to living in an urban environment.
In addition, there was a recent paper published by the Journal of Psychological Science called “The Cognitive Benefits of Interactive Nature”, which discussed how interacting with nature dramatically improves an individual’s cognitive function, specifically as it relates to direct attention and working memory, which are both considered crucial mental talents. The concept is that nature is filled (http://www.ultrafitnessdynamics.com/2886/the-benefits-of-hiking/) with a variety of interesting stimuli, such as a colorful bird, a unique looking rock, or a fallen tree that catches the eye, while a city is filled with nothing but the concrete that we see in our daily routines. Because you cannot help but stop and notice the colorful bird, the strange cloud pattern, or a beautiful sunset, it forces your attention circuits to refresh themselves, which causes cognitive function to increase. Just like any other part of your body, your brain grows stronger over time.
According to the article, the basis of this concept lies in what is known as Attention Restoration Theory, where nature provides a variety of attention-grabbing stimuli that urban environments lack, and because these additional stimuli require directed attention, they force the brain to work harder, thus increasing cognitive function.