Be The Outdoorsy Type With A Regular Hike!
Hiking is a great way to explore the great outdoors and get fit at the same time.
For years, doctors and Personal Trainers have advocated daily walks or hikes as an effective way to stay healthy.
Hiking does not get the respect and acclaim of more intensive activities such as running because it looks too easy.
But don’t let its pace fool you.
Hiking can be challenging and most of all provides many health and fitness benefits for everybody.
1. Improves Your Cardio-Respiratory Fitness
Cardio-respiratory covers the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Hiking is not just walking.
You are navigating uneven terrain which could feature hills, steep climbs, sharp drops, slippery footing, hard rocks, tree roots and ankle deep water.
Sometimes a hiking trip is like an expedition; you will be challenged to overcome natural obstacles including unpredictable weather.
You may be surprised by the amount of work you actually have to do! But your heart will thank you for it.
Statistically, if you hike at least 7 hours a week you’re 40% more likely to live longer than someone who is sedentary.
2. Promotes Efficient Blood Circulation
Your body is constantly working to accommodate the shifts in bodyweight.
Thus, hiking strengthens your legs, glutes, ankles, hips, lower back, abdominals, arms and shoulders.
Hiking can be an overall body exercise. It’s not just your legs working; almost every body part is called into play depending on the situation.
This is a great way to improve blood circulation and further lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of type II diabetes.
3. Burns Body Fat
You can have a casual hike with a friend and still burn a good amount of calories.
A lightly paced hike can burn 370 calories per hour for a person who weighs 70 kilos.
Compare that to the 342 calories you burn while running on a treadmill for 30 minutes.
It may take longer but there will be less chances of injury to your knees, hips, ankles and lower back.
4. Lowers Risk Of Depression
Exercise releases mood-enhancing endorphins. But doctors prefer to recommend hiking as a physical activity for chronically depressed people because it helps clear the mind.
When you are outdoors, you get to breathe fresh air. You begin to admire the scenery and find peace in tranquility.
It is a great way to process your thoughts, manage stress and find resolution to pressing problems.
5. Improves Quality Of Sleep
All of these benefits collectively promote better quality of sleep. When your circulatory system is working efficiently, you organs function better.
Of course when you are less stressed, there is less to think about at night. Your mind, body and spirit will be calm and at peace.
Getting consistently good quality of sleep will reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and other stress related conditions.
So when somebody tells you to “Take a Hike”, go do it!
Hiking brings you several steps closer to accomplishing your health and fitness goals.