Whether you are a business owner or someone who holds a management position within a business, you will almost always find yourself under some sort of stress.

And while heading home to the wife and children or relaxing with friends can take your mind off the stresses of work, there is nothing like going on an adventure to escape for a while.

While I don’t own a business nor do I hold a management position at the company I work for, I still have stresses that I have to deal with on a daily basis. However, once I am out on the trail and submerging myself in a forest, all those stresses disappear and my mind is far more at ease.

What hiking offers those stressed out business people that, for instance, a gym cannot, is that it will be a different experience every time you head out. Your gym is your gym, but when you’re hiking you can encounter different trails and different landscapes. In short, there is a lot of variety that a gym simply cannot offer. It is my belief that being outside helps you feel closer to nature a more natural rhythms, which can have a positive effect on your overall happiness thus leaving you feel more fulfilled.

Say, for instance, you set yourself a goal of climbing steep hill or a mountain while out on the hike. If you happen to do either, it invokes a sense of great accomplishment. And they’re just the mental benefits. The physical benefits are just as many.

The great thing about hiking is that it’s one of the activities that anyone with any level of fitness can do. Furthermore, it can be on a well maintained path, or on an overgrown trail where you are almost guessing where to go. But, I believe this adds to the overall enjoyment it can provide. As hiking is a cardiovascular activity, it has benefits for that particular system of your body, and can reduce the chances of heart disease while increasing your overall fitness at the same time. Finally, it’s excellent for toning muscle, particularly when you are required to hike across rough terrain which makes your body and legs work that little bit harder.

So, if you are overwhelmed by the stresses of work, instead of heading to the gym and punching the crap out of a punching bag, why not find a nearby trail and spend a few hours experiencing everything nature has to offer? Your mind, and body, will thank you for it.

John Feeney is a hiking and camping enthusiast who writes for an Australian hiking blog called The Hiking Society.