Exercise and fun don’t go hand in hand, right? Wrong. Let us introduce you to hiking. Hiking is a type of outdoor exercise that entails walking in a natural setting such as a mountain, forest, or lake. There are several benefits of hiking and here we will discuss most of them in brief.
Here are 13 Health Benefits Of Hiking
Increases Your Life
Walking 150 to 300 minutes per week at a slow pace has been shown in studies to reduce your chance of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure by several folds according to Harvard School of Public Health.
Being physically active is also an important method to lower your risk of cancer. According to American Cancer Society, Physical activity is thought to regulate hormones such as estrogen and insulin, which can promote the growth of breast cancer.
Daily exercise also helps women maintain a healthy weight, which helps balance hormones and keeps the immune system in good shape making it one of the best benefits of hiking you can get.
Improves Mental State And Mood
There are many hiking benefits for mental health. Doctors are increasingly prescribing exercise such as hiking and walking to treat depression, and many clinical studies have shown that exercise can improve depressive symptoms to the same degree as antidepressant medication.
Trekking is also an excellent mood booster because it blends the physiological benefits of exercise with the mental health benefits of being outdoors and socializing with other hikers.
More and more research is pointing to a connection between the amount of time people spend in nature and their mental health. Spending time in nature has been shown in studies to reduce stress and blood pressure, as well as enhance sleep and energy levels. These results were also mentiond in the NCBI article .
One of the most important health benefits of trekking in our increasingly fast-paced society is stress reduction and improved emotional well-being contributing to overall mental health.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
When you push yourself to the point where it becomes challenging, walking becomes a cardio workout. Cardio exercise is essential for cardiac health, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol making it another one of the most known benefits of hiking..
Hiking raises your heart rate. Recall that your heart, like any other muscle in your body, is a muscle. To get and stay strong, it must be “worked out,” just like your biceps.
Any sort of exercise that raises your heart rate and improves your cardiovascular health is beneficial to your heart. The beautiful thing about hiking is that you can choose how tough of a hike you want to do, whether you are out of shape or fit as a fiddle.
Just 20 minutes in any fixed position reduces our metabolism, and 4 hours of inactivity nearly entirely shuts down fat-metabolizing enzymes!
To counteract this, it’s critical to take regular screen breaks at work. Hiking can boost your metabolism by increasing muscular mass in your legs and by overall higher level of activity required during hiking.
Your resting metabolic rate increases with muscle mass – for every 4.5lbs of muscle mass, your resting metabolic rate increases by 50Kcal per day.
Burns Calories/Weight Loss
This is one of the most significant health benefits of hiking for many people! When you consider that taking your dog for a half-hour hike burns 100 calories, it’s simple to see how hiking can help you lose weight!
Losing weight can be difficult. But once you leave home and reach the mountains, you will be doing something enjoyable. It won’t appear to be so much effort.
One of the most common reasons people fail to achieve their weight loss goals is that they dislike the process of eating healthy, going to the gym, and basically changing their unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one.
Hiking provides a fun opportunity to work towards weight loss goals.
Relieve Chronic Back Discomfort
The typical American sits for 13 hours and sleeps for 8 hours per day, leaving them active for only 3 hours. One of the reasons so many of us struggle from chronic back and joint pain on a regular basis is the sitting epidemic.
Two of the most common causes of chronic back discomfort are poor posture and muscle weakness. When we walk, our spine is more naturally aligned than when we sit, and the action strengthens postural muscles that deteriorate in front of a computer screen.
This not only relieves the back pain but also prevents it by strengthening the core and lower back muscles.
To keep their strength, your bones require a load to be applied to them. Weight lifting and rucksack trekking are both excellent ways to increase bone density. But Hiking has the advantage of being a low-impact form of exercise, which is beneficial for those who struggle from joint pain.
Our bone density might deteriorate considerably as we age. It is critical to consume enough calcium, vitamin D, and physical activity to help maintain healthy bones.
Hiking definitely checks the second two boxes. Walking, as a weight-bearing exercise, promotes (or prevents) bone density by strengthening the muscles around the bone.
Hiking on trails helps you better your balance and cerebral agility. The uneven surface encourages the small stabilizing muscles in your ankles to strengthen and respond faster if you loose your equilibrium.
These stabilizing muscles are essential for proprioception, your body’s sixth sense that allows you to balance or stop yourself if you trip. If we do not exercise our proprioception, it naturally declines as we age, increasing our risk of injury from falls in old age.
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Improves Concentration And Productivity
It has been proven that ten minutes of movement at work improves productivity and mental focus, so get outside and go for a walk during your lunch break!
Incorporating a hike into your weekend activities will help you concentrate even more by reducing stress and increasing your physical fitness. And, as we all know, the best ideas occur to us when we’re not at our desk!
Builds Leg Muscles
When you begin trekking on a regular basis, you will notice that your leg muscles begin to expand. Hiking will help you build hamstring, bicep, glute, calves, and quadriceps strength.
Developing leg muscles is beneficial since it increases stamina. Don’t worry if you’re a newbie; hiking is a terrific way to become in shape.
You’ll be surprised at how well your legs feel after hiking through magnificent scenery. You will soon notice that your lower body is stronger, and you will be able to hike for longer periods of time.
Helps Diabetic Patients
Before you begin hiking, check with your doctor to see how it may affect your medication, blood sugar levels, and other parameters.
According to American Diabetes Association, hiking is a physical activity that is advised for people with diabetes or prediabetes. It is less strenuous than other workouts and is suitable for diabetics with hypoglycemia since it is less likely to cause a significant shift in blood sugar levels.
Hiking as a workout is highly useful and advised for those suffering from diabetes issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and neuropathy.
Hiking can burn hundreds of calories per hour and aids in blood glucose management by increasing insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism for the next 24 hours after your hike.
Who said you couldn’t see your friends and keep in shape at the same time? Hiking provides numerous physical benefits, but it can also improve your social life.
Hiking is the perfect bonding activity, in our opinion. Because everyone can participate, it’s simple to relax and enjoy the view and company of your friends.
Is there no one to go trekking with? Search for hiking clubs in your area. There are also benefits of hiking with friends as it makes you more accountable and less prone to give up. That’s fantastic!
Improves Core Strength
Hiking is a terrific technique to tone your body and get back in shape if you’re wanting to tone it. All of the walking over uneven terrain pushes you to activate your core continually, which will help you grow stronger abs and obliques.
Want to put your core to the test? Consider hiking with a backpack.
This concludes our article on 13 Benefits of Hiking. We hope you found this article helpful. Make sure to like and share this article with your friends who are looking to start a hike regime to motivate them further. You can comment with your suggestions down below.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are the benefits of hiking?
Main benefits of hiking are:
1. Making your muscles and bones stronger.
2. Enhancing your sense of equilibrium.
3. Enhancing your cardiovascular health.
4. Reducing the likelihood of some respiratory disorders.
What are the important things to keep in mind for hiking?
Important things to keep in mind before hiking:
1. Arrange your trip Be prepared
2. Examine the Circumstances
3. Choose your shoes and socks wisely
4. Pace Yourself
5. Leave No Trace
Why is hiking better than walking?
According to studies, hiking outside in nature improves your mood. While walking burns about 100 calories each mile, trekking significantly doubles that ratio.
What are hiker legs?
Long-distance hikers frequently discuss gaining their trail legs, a superhero-like state in which their leg muscles adapt to the callousing daily mileage and recuperate in time to rinse and repeat the next day. It turns out that this is due to a physiological process known as neuromuscular adaptation.
What is the most important thing in hiking?
Following are some of the most important things in hiking:
1. Weather appropriate attire
2. Hiking boots or shoes are required
3. There is plenty of food
4. There is plenty of water
5. Tools for navigation, such as a map and compass
6. First-aid supplies
7. Knife versus multi-tool
8. The remaining Ten Essentials, as applicable to your hike
What is the main goal of hiking ?
Hiking is a recreational activity that involves walking in nature. Hiking is a natural exercise that enhances physical fitness, is affordable and convenient, and requires no additional equipment, particularly among people with sedentary employment.
What are the principles of hiking?
Principles of hiking are:
1. Leaving No Trace
2. Plan ahead of time and be prepared
3. Know the rules and regulations for the location you’ll be visiting.
4. Travel and camp on durable surfaces
5. Appropriately dispose of waste
6. Leave what you find
7. Reduce campfire impacts
8. Respect wildlife
9. Be considerate of other visitors.