Nowadays, people all over the world are adopting hiking and trekking as one of the major outdoor events. People have already realized the benefits of hiking and they choose it as the part of a healthy lifestyle. However, we may not be fully aware of the advantages that walking provides. It would not be outspoken to say that hiking has more health benefits than meets the eyes!
In simplest terms, to hike means to walk for a long distance. The major difference between hiking and walking is that hiking is usually referred to going up mountains and being with nature. On the surface level, hiking seems to be complex but there are people who enjoy hiking since it provides peace of mind.
There are people who consider hiking as one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors and go hiking regularly. Hiking has the magical power to improve physical and mental health and well-being.
Health Benefits of Hiking
Now, the question is how far hiking can affect your health? No matter the intensity, hiking has a lot of benefits that a person can enjoy. From the physical to the mental aspects, hiking is one of the best ways to improve one’s quality of life.
Just an hour of hiking would be enough to burn over 500 calories! Incredible? You have to believe.
Because there is much more than this, regular hiking has to offer you.
Physical activity or exercise improves your body and health. However, hiking does not mean that simply walking. You need to have at least one outlet to stretch your muscles and move your joints.
If you feel like getting away from everything that is stressing you out, then there is hiking for you. Not only does it keep you active, it also influences the clarity of your mind.
Health Benefit 1: Improving Physical Fitness
Perhaps the first thing you can think of when it comes to hiking is how it can improve your fitness. Naturally, for any physical activity that you do, your body experiences changes. With hiking, there are definitely a lot of effects on your fitness.
As stated earlier, just an hour of hiking has the power to burn 440-500 calories. Hiking on mountain regions is most preferred since being most effective. Hiking on hills would do wonders and is ideal for weight loss. The lower part of the body is more benefitted while hiking. And if you wish to challenge the strength and endurance of your upper body, just carry a backpack!
Hiking is considered simpler than running, for hiking trails are often softer. This makes it easier for the knees. Climbing rocks and mountains provide over-all body workout. And walking on upslope with trekking pole has even more advantages.
Hiking is all about walking and we have to be specific about selecting gear while going for hiking. One of the essentials is boots. Boots are indispensable as far as hiking concerned. They affect the comfort and performance of the hiker on the trails. Hence, it is crucial to select the right one for you and make sure you don't choose work boots! There is a big difference between boots designed for working in construction and those used for hiking.. When you go for your hiking trip, make sure that you have the best tactical boots with you.
Health Benefit 2: Prevents and Controls Diabetes, Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Diabetes is an incredibly pressing health problem for any person suffering from it. Regular walking helps to control and even to prevent diabetes by lowering blood sugar level. Hiking being itself a perfect workout, causes glucose to be converted to energy. Trekking in downhill is found to be more effective in lowering blood sugar. Regular hiking helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and thereby reducing the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Health Benefit 3: Have a Healthier Heart and Muscles
The heart is one of the most delicate organs of the body. Thus, it is necessary to make sure that your cardiovascular system is fit, too. Known as one of the best cardio-workout, hiking offers tremendous benefits to heart and muscles. Climbing hills or steeper places during a hike makes your heart work harder, so it becomes active.
Hiking proves to be a natural way to gradually improve your heart muscles. Additionally, the muscles in your body are made to work as well. The core muscles of the torso are stronger Because of this stronger heart and muscles, your balancing skills reach the optimum level. Hiking helps in making your body more stable and you slowly become more comfortable taking dangerous trails.
Health Benefit 4: Improved Social Skills
Most hiking trips are done in groups. It’s actually much better to do your first hike with an experienced group because you’re still familiarizing yourself with it. Thus, there is always a buddy system when going on a hike with friends.
Long walks like hiking create a strong bond among the participants. There is nothing more powerful than an unfamiliar place to forge a friendship. When you hike with other people, you become a part of the community.
This vastly improves your social skills. Even if you spent most of your life alone and by yourself, you are forced to communicate with people. At first, it may seem difficult, but many hikers built long-time friendships during a hike.
Health Benefit 5: Stress Relief and Mental Well-Being
There is something about nature and its serenity that brings a feeling of comfort. Hiking is the best way to enjoy nature to the fullest. Being one with nature calms your mind and being surrounded by greenery, mountains and forest ease one’s stress levels. Thus, it is no surprise that hiking is a stress-relieving activity. Stress has a huge effect on one’s life, especially when it comes to your mental well-being.
Other than that, hiking increases one’s level of happiness. There were studies done that prove that this activity is one way to combat depression. While it is not a completely sure way to end feelings of hopeless, it helps curb it.
Having an active healthy lifestyle like hiking vastly improves one’s well-being. It influences the entire body physically and has a positive effect on one’s mind. Hiking brings about a lot of health benefits, which is why it is recommended by doctors.
There is simply a sense of belongingness in being alone and one with nature both at the same time. The chances of acquiring a dangerous disease are prevented because your health and the immune system are protected.
To enjoy these top five health benefits of hiking, you should seriously start doing it as soon as you can.