After 40, we begin to lose brain matter–especially gray matter, which helps us process information. But exercise “can grow and promote gray matter retention and thickness in important regions of the brain,” says Dr. Sarah C. McEwen.
While any type of exercise might seem to help with these conditions, hiking has an added benefit. Outdoors, on the trail, you’re in an environment that McEwen says forces you “to use spatial navigation, your memory, and your attention” with every step.
In addition to being so good for you, we should mention one other thing about hiking: It’s fun.