Do you know the health benefits of hiking? Did you know that hiking is right for your body and mind? Also, do you see the intensity of the advantages you can get out of it?
If you are planning to go trekking this weekend, remember that you are doing something better for your body. And the next time someone asks you to go on hiking, better join and thank that person. Not only will you look great physically, but you will also acquire peace of mind when you hike. Why is that so? It is because hiking offers physical and mental health benefits.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Hiking
Hiking offers a tremendous amount of excellent health and well-being. Thus, you need to get going right now and learn the many benefits of trekking:
Hiking Boosts Overall Fitness
Even hiking for an hour or two will surely burn up to 500 calories. The number of calories you shed off still depends on the weight of your backpack and the level of inclination. You see, hiking makes it easier for your knees and ankles compared to sprinting. Also, the hiking trails are easier on joints, which is ideal for people with joint injuries. If you take inclined trails more often, it will also result in more calories burned. The altitude you are hiking proved that hiking is ideal if your goal is to lose weight.
Trekking is a Great Overall Workout
When you are planning your hike, you are also taking control of your exercises. So, it is better that you ask yourself: Are you going at a slow pace for the view of the mountains? Or are you planning on taking a steep hike up a hill? Thus, you are in full command of your progress. Plus, you can also manipulate your distance and pace. And what’s even better is that you do not need a fitness instructor or coach just to complete your hike.
It Helps in Toning Your Body
Walking will get you in better shape. However, as you walk or jog on inclined trails, you are allowing your body to have an overall workout. Thus, you are toning your whole body, especially your lower body. It quickly adds shape to your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Plus, if you are carrying a backpack, you are also challenging your whole body. Also, it promotes endurance and strength on your upper body.
Hiking Controls and Prevents Diabetes Mellitus
Trekking regularly will help you control and prevent diabetes mellitus. How? Hiking promotes the lowering of your blood sugar level. Moreover, it allows your muscles to work efficiently. Thus, it shifts the glucose from your bloodstream to increase energy.
It Lowers Down Blood Cholesterol Level and Blood Pressure
Hiking almost every day will help you decrease your cholesterol and blood pressure level. Hence, it helps in the reduction of the danger of developing heart problems, stroke, and diabetes. Plus, if you decide hiking down the hill, you are promoting efficient blood flow throughout your body.
Hiking Helps in the Healing Process of Cells
A lot of research studies suggest that the benefits of hiking extend to faster recovery of patients. A study published in the “International Journal of Sports Medicine” discovered that hiking for an hour or so would enhance your antioxidative property. And in turn, it also wards off diseases, especially in cancer patients.
Trekking Promotes Social Activity
Since hiking always suggests the buddy-buddy system, you ever meet up with your partner for a long-distance trek. It also helps you form a bond with your hiking partner as you shape up together. Moreover, it allows you to join hiking groups and communities to promote your social life.
It Boosts Creativity
Research suggests that spending a lot of time in the great outdoors increases creative problem-solving skills by 50 percent. Moreover, it helps improve a person’s attention span. The proponents of the study revealed that trekking enables you to unplug with technology. Stanford University Graduate School of Education researchers proved that trekking also stimulates your creative juices.
It Helps Fight Depression and Boosts Happiness Levels
A lot of research studies suggest that hiking has an additional benefit to boost happiness. It applies in particular to people with severe depression. Thus, individuals who feel hopeless, suicidal, and depressed will improve their overall outlook on life if they engage in hiking regularly. It helps them get motivated and inspired to lead a more active lifestyle.
It Allows You to Bond With Nature
Being in the outdoors more often allows you to bond with nature. It helps you get away from your busy life and technology. Thus, it helps you meditate and connect with yourself and with nature. As a result, it will bring out a sense of well-being and peace.
How Much Time Should You Allot in Hiking?
To get the incredible health advantages of hiking, you need to allocate a couple of hours for such activity. Health and fitness experts claim that getting active for about 150 minutes per week will give you these health benefits. It will allow you to do aerobic exercises in moderate intensities that will lead to such advantages. Good news! It will only take up around two and a half hours of your time.
Moreover, you do not need to trek all at once. You may opt for a hiking activity a few hours after your lunch break or a few hours after work. You will obtain these benefits after completing at least ten to fifteen minutes of the hike.
Additionally, if you add more time trekking, your health advantages will also progress. To acquire more benefits, you may aim for a 300-minute hike of moderate intensity. You may also do at least 150 minutes of strenuous aerobic exercise every week.
But of course, you may also follow various types of physical activities other than trekking. What is vital is that you also perform strength training like weight lifting and push-ups. Experts recommend that you may execute these activities at least twice per week. Additionally, you may also add some bone-strengthening activities. Not only they promote bone growth, but they also strengthen it. So, get your hiking boots ready and start your trek!
Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand, where she and her associate’s blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of a travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”
Updated: 15 July 2020