Hiking is a universally enjoyed practice for the way it fosters our connection to nature, gets the body moving, and has a rejuvenating effect on physical and mental well-being. With some knowledge of all of the innate healing benefits that hiking has to offer, you can upgrade your hike for maximum health effect!
Dial In Your Exposure to the Four Circadian Elements for Optimal Health Benefits
Barefoot & Earthing Hiking Footwear
Minimal and earthing footwear entrain your biology to the Earth's harmonics with every step.
Hiking in earthing footwear connects you electrically to the earth, which floods the body with electrons that help reduce inflammation and fight free radicals. This also helps boost the immune system, expedites healing, protects the heart, reduces inflammation, and regulates circadian rhythm. [1,2,3]
Minimalist footwear allows your feet to sense & react to the terrain underfoot, while also feeding your brain important sensory information about the world underfoot in the form of biofeedback. This helps your brain stay strong, sharp, and alert (and is a powerful anti-aging hack!). 
Earth Runners sandals are both minimalist and earthing footwear that are designed to support you wherever your hiking adventures take you, while providing maximum health benefits!
Snacks 'n Supplements
When you set out on a hike it’s best to have minimal food in your stomach to avoid being metabolically weighed-down.
Bring healthy snacks in your pack if you will be out more than an hour and need a boost. Bee pollen, chlorella tablets, paleo granola, almond butter packets, bison protein bars, and hard boiled eggs are some of our favs.
Tinctures can also be used to support your physiology and increase your bandwidth on the trail– since you’re increasing circulation by moving, they are absorbed more rapidly sublingually via the mucous membrane and quickly take effect.
Get Down and Dirty
Find an opportunity at some point in your hike to take a seat on the ground where the airborne biome of the forest is rich. This will give your body the best opportunity to sync with the circadian element data of your environment to optimize your biology.
This can also be a great time for reflection and is usually accompanied by deep insights fueled by the inspiration of the natural world surrounding you.
Don't be afraid to dig into some food with a little dirt on your hands or under your fingernails (mind you, don't eat food where you may get sand in your mouth and destroy your teeth!). The forest has some of the richest soil biome so be sure to get down and say what's up. Hug trees, touch the dirt. Get maximum health benefits from your hike by allowing your body to bathe in the beneficial bacteria of the woods.
Let There Be Light
Sunrise hikes have maximum healing circadian regulation benefits. They expose your body to the beneficial infrared light that is most available during these golden hours. In the morning this wakes your body up, increases energy production, raises dopamine, and fosters a sense of well-being. 
A mid-day hike will load you up with vitamin D, which benefits your immune system as sunlight is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. The sunlight also activates serotonin in your body, which acts as a mood stabilizer! 
Cooking Over Fire
If you’re going on a multi-day trip, nothing beats cooking over an open fire. Food infused with primarily derived infrared electrons (over a fire) always tastes better when you cook it outside, after a day of exhausting calories in the elements. Fresh cooked food (bonus points if foraged!) over the infrared flames of a camp fire fills up both stomach and soul.
A hydration pack is a solid way to make sure you have enough water to keep your thirst quenched and body optimized. Aim to store ~16 ounces of water per mile. This becomes more pertinent when out for longer than 1 hour. Think of your trail time as an opportunity to supplement your hydration rather than the need to avoid a deficit. The enhanced metabolism and perspiration allows for deep hydration and flushing on a cellular level.
Exercise is one of the best opportunities for cellular fluid exchange and detox. We can optimize natural health benefits while hiking by keeping our body hydrated to promote open detox pathways.
Connect to Living Source Water
If you encounter relatively clean water on the hike, let your feet or hands enjoy a dip in the crisp living water– or plunge your full body in if you’re feeling adventurous! The cold exposure will do you wonders as it helps your body to burn fat and improves your resilience & immune function. 
Inoculate Your Biome
The air contains the essence of the forest’s biome. Phytoncides are the aromatic oils produced by trees and plants we breathe in when forest bathing, and have been shown to increase the activity of natural killer cells—immune cells that defend against bacteria, viruses, and tumors. These have also been shown to reduce stress hormones and reduce depression. [8,9]
Too much clothing can be one of the most disruptive factors between you and the best trail time. Wear excessive clothing and you are battling sweat and carrying extra weight. Too little and you are uncomfortably cold. Aim to stay properly insulated, and have the ability to remove lightweight outer layers as needed.
Think about the breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities of your gear. Choose a water-proof shell if it is raining, and a breathable material if it’s dry. Natural fibers like cotton and wool are great for breathability. Convertible zip-off bottoms are a no-brainer for the flexibility of changing between shorts and pants at any point in your adventure.
Focus on Your Breath
Proper breathing is crucial for optimal health, this applies ten-fold when out on the trail. The quality of the air on a trout in nature -vs- inside your home or workplace have orders of magnitude of difference. Drink up the fresh air!
Bonus tip: Syncing your breath with your gait cycle will get you into a rhythm which can bring you into flow state.
Elemental Hiking for Maximum Health Benefits
Full authentic human experiences happen amidst the primal circadian elements of big nature.
- Full Mind & Body Engagement
- Thin Atmosphere, Air & Sun
- Pristine & Potent Biome
- Charged Wild Waters
- Forest Resonance
With an awareness of the four circadian elements in mind, you will be maximizing the health benefits of your hikes with ease! Nature has it all ready to offer you, all you have to do is get outside.