Leaving our comfort zone—exploring a new place, trying a new activity, tasting a new food, spending time with new people—can be both exhilarating and exhausting.
Studies have shown that neuroplasticity—the ability for the brain to modify its connections—does not stop at a certain age, as was once believed. Want to learn a new language? It may take more conscious effort when you’re older, but you can start learning whether you’re age five or 95.
Every new activity and concept we experience causes our brains to re-wire at least a little bit. Tried a new gym routine, yoga pose, or dance move? Our brains are as stimulated as our bodies. Hike a new trail, meet a new neighbor, take a class—any of these will cause our brains to grow.
After a burst of new activity, though, we often experience not only mental but also physical tiredness. That’s a sign that our brains and bodies are growing and changing.
The familiar people, places and activities we’re most comfortable with have a healing quality. An exciting trip to a new place is naturally followed by, “But it’s good to be home and sleep in my own bed!”
I love checking out new hiking trails. After any new adventure, though, I find myself longing for a familiar walk close to home. Our nearby family walks give us a sense of home, both in terms of physical space and mental space. Time in a favorite familiar place can be just the battery recharge people need after an exciting energy drain. Keep putting one foot forward!
This week’s Hike Notes are from the HikingAutism archives, Wood Line - Presidio. Wood Line is one of several captivating Andy Goldsworthy environmental art installations in San Francisco, and one of our favorite family walks.
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This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 97): Wood Line - Presidio
Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Browse hikes on the main Hikes page or on the Hike Search by Area (was Quick View Hike List) page. Click World Walks to see or share favorite family-friendly walks! Stay in touch with Lisa Louis and HikingAutism via Contact.
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