Hike to health

Lees in het Nederlands

Nature plays a huge part in my life. When I was younger it was a place where I enjoyed playing and discovering. Later in life it became the place where my profession took place. In the last few years I’ve discovered that it does even more for me than I thought. It has this amazing healing power. That might sound a bit vague or spiritual, but I’ll try to explain what it does for me and ultimately what it can do for you. 

If I’m stressed and I go out for a hike I notice after half an hour or so that my body lets go of the tension that builds up due to the stress. Slowly my brain and heart start to follow the pace of my movement.

In the beginning of the walk I’m more focussed inwards. Thinking about things that are going on in my life, usually these thoughts topple over each other, some lasting so short that they hardly make any sense. As time goes by my focus goes more outwards. I really notice every sound, smell and color of the nature around me.

Last summer I was struggling with coming up with a good idea for a new blog. My thoughts were a huge mess in my head. I then decided to try something new. 

Something I call meditational walking.

I went to a trail that is hardly ever used. There I bowed my head and kept my eyes on the grass just before my feet. I took tiny steps, my heel just next to the toes of my other foot. By closing out a ton of input for my eyes and the slow and consciously movement of my body helped my brain to slow down. The loose strands of thoughts started to lighn up and slowly but surely I ended up with a nice long strain of ideas that I could weld together to form a new story. 

I think this could work for everyone. Of course, not everybody has the same type of mind. But every once in a while every person needs some type of healing. It might be that you need physical healing instead. The great part of this story is that it works for that too. In multiple research the length of recovering from surgery has been researched. The people who had the view of a green exterior out of their bedroom window needed less pain killers and recovered more quickly.

So I recommend, If you ever don’t feel well, put on your shoes and go outside.


It works best if you go alone. I know that can be hard. It’s something I struggled with for a long time. But when you’re out alone, your brain is all free to you. It doesn’t have to think about or talk to that other person you’re with. 

No distraction

Go to a place where it’s likely that you won’t see anybody else, and in some cases they can’t see you. Where possible go on unpaved trails.

Slow down

You don’t have to move fast, let your body and mind set the pace. Give your body and mind enough time to adjust to your physical pace. The more chaotic your mind is the slower you have to go.

Let it go

Don’t force yourself towards a result, then chances are that you won’t have any. Be kind to yourself if that walk doesn’t bring you what you wanted to accomplish, the time just wasn’t right.

I hope doing this will help you heal from what you had to endure. I wish you a lot of fun, health and wisdom in your upcoming hikes. And remember, there is no wrong way of doing this.

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