Boost Your Mood and Your Health by Hiking

Hiking just might be the best way to motivate you to exercise longer and give your mood a boost!  Studies show that just being in nature can promote your health.  Being in the Green Mountains of Vermont and hiking on forest trails with beautiful lookouts and serene waterfalls can do wonders for your mind and body.

Hiking will motivate you to get a longer workout.  Let’s say you start walking and you’d like to log 3 miles for the day. You have the choice to run outside on a path that winds around a lake or head to the gym and get busy on a treadmill. Which one will give you a better, longer workout?  Most likely, the outdoor exercise.

Why? It’s so easy to hop off the treadmill and go home. Outdoors, however, you still have to get yourself back to your starting point by your own power, even if you slow down. In the end, this serves as a good mental trick you can use to help you break down your goal into smaller parts. Commit yourself to the halfway or turnaround point; once there, you can focus on finishing what you’ve begun.

Here are a few more advantages of hiking to consider:

More thorough, more efficient: Outside, even subtle changes to the terrain can help build leg and ankle muscles while you’re hiking.  In addition to getting physical exercise, studies show that just the act of being in nature will improve your long-term health outcome. 

Vitamin D: You’ve heard a lot of talk about the benefits of taking a vitamin D supplement — doing so can prevent cancer, lower the risk of osteoporosis, boost your immune system and so on. As this article from Harvard points out, it is true that Vitamin D is essential to health and it’s difficult to obtain through your food. It’s not known, however, if supplements can deliver the D goods just as well as the sun. You can get all the D your body needs for one week just by exposing your skin to the sun for 15 minutes. Of course, be sure you are slathering on plenty of sunscreen for the remainder of the time.

It’s just happier: This fact is very plain and simple: people who exercised outdoors in a natural setting came away with higher levels of satisfaction than those who had a similar workout indoors, according to a study. The outdoor exercisers also reported a greater sense of well-being and had stronger intentions to repeat the activity.

Experience for yourself the difference that exerting yourself outdoors can make in regard to your strength, endurance and state of mind. Not sure when to start?  Looking for a way to get a healthier activity in a new setting? At New Life Hiking Spa, we offer an affordable, all-inclusive package that includes three different levels of daily hikes and treks to challenge your body and renew your spirit with amazing scenery.   Plus, you get other fitness activities, healthy food and massages all included in your stay so you don’t need to think about anything else as you begin a new habit of exercising outdoors.

Digital Detox

Many people ask us if we have a good Wi-Fi connection at the hotel prior to their stay.  We do.  We are only open for 20 weeks a year and the rest of the year the hotel is utilized for people on a ski vacation to Killington.  In order to service the skiers in the winter, YES, we have Wi-Fi.

However, for a wellness vacation, think about HOW CONNECTED you really want to be.

We realize that people need to check in with home, work, etc. Especially, when staying at New Life for an extended stay.  (Interesting fact:  Half our guests stay for more than 9 nights).  We know moms want to get that quick text that the kids are OK at their own camp.  We know that business people want to make sure they can be reached for an emergency.  But, do you just want to keep up with others on an Instagram feed or scroll Facebook late at night?

Many studies lately have been linking our declining wellbeing with excessive digital device use.

According to economist, Thierry Malleret, Americans spent on average 87 hours a month browsing their smartphone last year.  According to Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey, more than 40 percent of consumers check their phones within five minutes of waking up. During the day, we look at our phones approximately 47 times and that number rises to 82 times for 18- to 24-year-olds. Once the day is over, over 30 percent of consumers check their devices five minutes before going to sleep and about 50 percent in the middle of the night.

Arianna Huffington has written a book on sleep, “The Sleep Revolution” and describes how important it is to unplug from our phone for a good night’s sleep.  From the “blue light” the phone emits to having it next to our bed while sleeping are all issues affecting our health and wellbeing.

The necessity to disconnect in order to find some quiet time to think, talk to friends or slow down, will impose itself – we all need a bit of “digital detox”.

So, while at New Life, try to take a break from the digital world.  When you get to the top of the mountain, breathe in and take a look at the surroundings (without looking at it through your smartphone).  Although, you might want to snap a quick picture.  The views are post-worthy…for when you do the photo upload when your vacation is over.

Nature Heals.

Nature heals

Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

To read the full article, click here.


Get back to health by eating food from nature!

Nature-made food comes packed with the good stuff — vitamins, micronutrients, minerals and fiber — delivering the important nutrients that sustains life.

And then there is processed food, which contain high amounts of salt, sugar and fat. Over time, these foods alter our sense of taste, extend our waistlines and damage our cardiovascular systems. In addition to that, these packaged foods include many extra ingredients designed to enhance flavor and extend shelf life. But the health effects from these extras can range from questionable to inadvisable. Instead of nourishing our bodies, these ingredients feed our cravings and actually make us less healthy in the long run. At New Life Hiking Spa, we serve healthy, whole food, freshly prepared in our New Life kitchen by expert chefs.

Here are just a few reasons to quit your packaged-food habit:

Potassium sorbate: In a lab study, this preservative damaged DNA in human blood cells. Further investigation will be needed to determine the true risk. If you don’t want to chance it, just be aware it can be found in things you are consuming to boost your health, such as dried fruit and some dietary supplements!

Clever food engineering: Sometimes, it’s a matter of construction that can mess with our perceptions and make us want to eat more. Take the cheese puff. It is built on the principle of “vanishing caloric density.” That is, when you eat it, the air constructed into this tasty snack tricks your brain into thinking you are not getting enough calories, so it tells you to eat more.

Aspartame: For many, this artificial sweetener may serve as a green light to keep chugging soda. Yes, it does spare you from sugar’s empty calories, but studies show this stuff is actually counterproductive to weight loss. It alters the brain’s sweet receptors and prolongs sugar cravings. Researchers also found that over a decade, diet soda drinkers had a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference than non-diet soda drinkers.

Nitrites: In October 2015, the WHO deemed processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon and lunch meat as carcinogens that raise the risk of colon cancer. While the warning did not point to any one thing, nitrites added to red meat are linked to cancer in animal studies.

Instead of filling your body with fats and mysterious chemicals that may harm you in ways we don’t yet know or understand, know what you are putting into your body. Focus on real food, whole grains, fresh lean meat and plant food that comes in natural packaging.  And, while you are working on putting what nature gave us in your body, go for a hike to experience the benefits of putting your body outside in nature!

Thinking of a way to get off the cycle of bad habits?  That’s what we are here for!  A vacation at New Life Hiking Spa will get you on that track.  It’s what we do.  Take a look at or give us a call at 802-353-2954.