Hundreds of thousands of people every year suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition brought on by a traumatic event, such as combat, rape or assault. Research shows that hiking can help in the recovery from PTSD.
Whether gardening, camping, fishing or hiking, being in nature calms people and relieves their stress. When anxiety is dampened, other cognitive therapies to deal with the trauma can work more effectively.
"The earth does neutralize a lot of human anxiety," says Jinny Blom, who designs therapeutic landscapes and has worked with veterans returning from tours in Afghanistan.
Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.