Hiking on the Appalachian Trail near “Beauty Spot” in Tennessee (USA) Photo by Mark Ellison
Emerging research is revealing that hiking in nature has a powerful restorative impact on psychological and physiological health. The benefits of time spent in nature can improve resiliency and serve as a buffer from the stress of urban environments and hectic work settings.
I will be offering a class this fall (August – October) in a hybrid format on “Hiking to Experience the Restorative Power of Nature” that will guide participants on how to plan and prepare for a hiking trip that maximizes the health benefits of time spent in nature. We will then get out in nature to experience those benefits! The class will be offered online with two all day Saturday experiential sessions on hiking trails in North Carolina.
Topics covered in the class will include planning a hiking and backpacking trip; selecting appropriate gear and equipment; the principles of Leave No Trace and how to limit the impact on the environment; and safety in the backcountry. We will review the many health benefits associated with spending time in nature including emerging trends in nature and forest therapy such as the practice of shinrin yoku in Japan. Class participants will learn how to connect to nature and experience the stress reduction and restoration that it offers.
Several guest presenters will share their expertise with the class, including Alan Logan, ND, co-author of the book Your Brain on Nature, and invited faculty for the Harvard School of Continuing Medical Education.
The one credit hour class (PED 171) is offered through Montgomery Community College in Troy, North Carolina. Registration information is available online at http://www.montgomery.edu/students/admissions.html. Please email me for additional information.