We all know that there are many benefits to regular exercise. The main factors in ensuring you move your body regularly are finding types of exercise you enjoy and varying your workouts so that you don’t get bored. If you love being outdoors, you may like to consider hiking as an addition to your workout schedule. Read on to discover the many great health benefits of hiking.
Read also: What to eat before a hike to gain energy
The Top Five Health Benefits of Hiking
1. Muscle strengthening
Hiking provides a challenge to your muscles, especially your leg muscles (quads, calves and hamstrings) and your core. If you are hiking over rough or uneven terrain, using hiking poles or carrying a heavy rucksack, then the muscle toning benefits will be much more significant and reach your upper body too.
2. Increase cardiovascular fitness
As well as strengthening your muscles, hiking increases your fitness levels because it is a type of cardiovascular exercise, like jogging. The great thing about hiking is that because you are out in nature and navigating varied landscapes, you can almost forget you are working out at all!
3. Weight Loss
Because hiking is a cardiovascular exercise, AND it helps to build muscles, it is fantastic for weight loss. In fact, hiking for just 60 minutes can burn as much as 500 calories. Regular trekking can also help prevent and control conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
4. Motivational Effects
As mentioned, to stick at a consistent exercise routine, you need to stay motivated. Hiking provides fantastic motivation because every session can be different, depending on where you go. Also, you will enjoy some time spent outside in beautiful surroundings, connecting with nature. So much nicer than a hot, sweaty gym.
5. It’s Social
While you absolutely can go hiking alone, usually this activity is done in small groups of two or more people. Socialising with others is essential for our mental health, so what could be better than enjoying time with your friends and getting a good dose of fresh air and exercise? You will likely feel rejuvenated and refreshed after a hiking session with the people you love, thus decreasing stress levels and increasing feelings of wellbeing.