Hiking is one of the best and most effective physical exercises that you can do on a regular basis. It is the simplest form of working out that won’t cause you injuries like in tennis or another high-level exercise.
I am a regular hiker since I love nature and activity. There are macadam roads and forests with trails near me that I love to use for a daily break from the work. There is nothing better than walking through the woods, listening to the birds and enjoying in the fresh air.
This outdoor exercise is often recommendable for patients with diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions by healthcare staff. Did you ever hear that going into the woods will make you to forget all the troubles? No matter the location, hiking has many advantages for health so it would be wise to include it in your lifestyle on a daily basis.
Do you want to know which are the top 6 benefits that you can get from hiking? See how you can benefit from this wonderful and easy cardio workout.
What is hiking?
It is an easy cardio workout that involves your entire body. Going hiking means that you will have a long walk, topically on the footpaths or trails in the countryside.
Why is hiking good for your health?
Its benefits are both physical and mental. The physical ones relate to your physical well-being while the mental ones relate to your state of mind.
It maintains the muscular system and makes you happy and relaxed due to endorphins released in the body. Read on and find out which are its advantages.
Physical health benefits of hiking
Hiking can be a challenging sport and it makes it great when it comes to building your endurance and making you physically fit. What will happen with your body when you hike?
1. Is hiking good exercise for weight loss?
Many people struggle with excessive weight due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Are you one of those people? Sitting all day in the office and indulging in junk food make you out of shape.
The problem is not just being overweight but also diseases that develop because of unhealthy habits. Hiking is one of the best activities that will help you turn things around with no extra effort.
When you hike, the whole body will work so it makes it a great body workout. If you do this regularly, you will be able to lose a considerable amount of weight in a short period of time.
Is hiking better than running?
Hiking in a hilly environment will help you burn around 500 calories in just one hour, which is a lot more than the calories that you will burn running for one hour on a level field.
2. Boosts your strength
Does hiking strengthen your core? It is a weight-bearing activity so you will be able to boost your core strength when you engage in it regularly. It enhances and strengthens your bone structure as well as giving you stronger muscles.
3. Tones your body
How does hiking change your body? A toned body is one of the main reasons people work out and this sport is one of the top activities to achieve this. It requires you to use different body muscles.
Other exercises such as running and walking include only a few muscles in your body so you will be able to ton the muscles only in those regions.
4. Keeps the blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check
An unhealthy lifestyle is bad for your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. When you eat a lot of junk and fatty foods, fat accumulates in your blood vessels and makes it difficult for blood to move around.
Fatty and sweet foods also increase the concertation of glucose/sugar in your body and this causes all sorts of problems. When you make it on your schedule, you will be able to prevent health problems and maintain your health in the best condition.
Hiking is great when it comes to burning calories and this will ensure that fats don’t gather around your heart and blood vessels. Can going on the trail reduce blood sugar?
It stimulates the burning of excess glucose in the bloodstream to generate energy for the exercise so it prevents the concentration of sugar from rising.
Mental health benefits of hiking
The advantages of hiking are not just physical. How does it improve mental health? There are mental benefits that you stand to gain for doing it regularly. Here are some of them for you to consider.
1. Hiking for stress relief
Life can be quite stressful. Is hiking good for stress? It provides you with an opportunity to unwind and to take a break from your busy schedule. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature are quite therapeutic and they will help you deal with the everyday challenges.
2. Boosts your brain power
This is another mental benefit that you accrue from hiking. Why is it good for your mind? Spending time outdoors will clear your mind. According to Inc. research, it is great for boosting your creativity and memory retention.
Therefore, you will be able to come up with creative solutions to the problems that you are facing and be able to retain information better.
What should you not do while hiking?
These are some useful tips on what you shouldn’t do while hiking if you want to avoid unpleasant situations.
- Eating salty snacks
- Drinking sodas and sugary drinks
- Using your mobile
- Wearing uncomfortable shoes
- Wearing inappropriate clothes
- Going off the trails
Why shouldn’t you eat salty snacks when you are hiking? I have two reasons why you shouldn’t do it. We all agree that chips and other salty snacks are easy to eat when you hike but it won’t provide you nutrients that you need for the trail.
It is also an inappropriate snack because you will be thirstier than usual. Grab some nuts or power bars instead to fill up your energy levels.
Do you like Coca-Colla, sprite and other types of sodas? Well, you should forget about them if you want to stay properly hydrated during the walk. These drinks have a lot of sugar that won’t benefit your body when you will need proper hydration.
Bring water with you, it is the best choice to make. If you like flavored water, you can add some freshly-squeezed juice from fruits in it.
Using the mobile
Using your mobile while hiking won’t bring you any benefits. Texting or surfing social networks won’t connect you to nature. Didn’t you go outdoors to unwind and forget about technology and work? Leave it at home so you can enjoy nature without disturbances.
What are you wearing?
Wearing some tight and inappropriate shoes will bring you a bad mood when you realize your feet are full of painful blisters. Hiking shoes are the most important equipment that you should consider before going to the trails. Get quality and comfortable footwear that is meant for such outdoor activity.
What will you wear?
If you think that it isn’t important what to wear when going outdoors you are wrong. Hiking for some time will make you sweat, and if you are wearing cotton clothes, they might get wet. I am sure you don’t want to hike in wet clothes and get a cold. Wear light and breathable materials that won’t burden you.
Going off the trails?
Are you tempted to leave the trail and explore the surroundings? I don’t recommend doing it, especially if you are alone out there. Something might happen to you, you might get injured or fall off the cliff, so rather stay on the marked trails.
Improve your health and enjoy!
Hiking is a great activity that will help you sustain a happy and healthy life. This exercise will help you think clearly and deal with stress easier. It will also help you remain fit by providing you with a great workout.
Make a schedule of hiking and go on the trails to see how it will change your life on better. Hey, why don’t you call your best friend and go on the trails together? I am sure you will enjoy it and plan your next hike soon.