Keeping fit is one of the things that we have to do, failure to which our health would deteriorate and our bodies would get weak. Keeping fit encompasses two things, eating healthy as well as physical exercises and these two should be practiced in unison if we are to attain optimal health and well-being.
Of the many physical exercises that you can engage in to remain fit, hiking is one of the best and most effective and we will discuss why that is the case in this article. People usually hike outdoors in nature over hills and uneven landscapes and this not only helps the participants to remain fit, it also exposes them to the best that nature has to offer.
This is different from the boring walls of a regular gym and as such, if you prefer amazing sceneries as you work out, hiking is the way to go. Let’s now review in detail the amazing benefits of hiking.
The Benefits of Hiking
The hiking benefits are both physical and mental. The physical benefits include those that are directly related to your physical well-being while the mental benefits are related to your state of mind.
Hiking caters to all of these needs and that is why it is rated highly by outdoor enthusiast. Let’s now take a look at the independent benefits from each of these categories.
Hiking – The Physical Benefits
Hiking is a challenging sport and this makes it great when it comes to building your endurance and making you as physically fit as possible. Some of the physical benefits that you will be able to enjoy when you hike as often as possible include,
1. Weight Loss
Most people struggle with excessive weight brought about by unhealthy lifestyles. Sitting all day in the office and indulging in junk food such as fries, burgers, and all manner of sweat things have contributed to making a huge portion of the working nation unhealthy and out of shape.
Such a lifestyle has contributed to a rise in lifestyle diseases in both the young and the old and hiking is one of the best activities that will help you turn things around. Hiking on a hilly environment will help you burn more than 500 calories in just one hour, which is a lot more than the calories that you will burn when you run for one hour on a level field.
When you hike, you will use several parts of your body to make it past the hilly landscapes and this makes hiking great for a total body workout. When you do this regularly, you will be able to lose a considerable amount of weight in just a short period of time.
2. Boosts your strength
Hiking is a weight-bearing activity and as such, 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.
With a stronger core, you will be to resist pressures on your body as well as enhancing your fitness.
3. It’s perfect for toning your body
A toned up body is one of the main reasons people work out and hiking is one of the best activities for achieving this. This is because hiking requires that you use different muscles in your body and this will help you achieve a toned up physique.
Other exercises such as running and walking only work out a few muscles in your body and as such, you will only be able to ton the muscles in those regions.
Hiking poles are great for strengthening your body, especially the upper body and you can use hiking poles when you go outdoors.
4. It helps to keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check
Unhealthy lifestyles and habits are bad for your blood pressure and blood sugar level. When you eat a lot of junk and fatty foods, fats accumulate in your blood vessels and this makes it difficult for blood to move around in your body.
Unhealthy foods also increase the concertation of glucose/sugar in your body and this brings about all sorts of problems. When you make hiking part of your schedule, you will be able to prevent all these from happening and maintain your health in the best condition.
This is because hiking is great when it comes to burning calories and this will ensure that fats don’t collect in your heart or blood vessels. It also stimulates the burning of excess glucose in the bloodstream to generate energy for the exercise and this will prevent the concentration of sugar from rising on unhealthy levels.
Hiking – The Mental Benefits
The advantages of hiking are not just physical. There are mental benefits that you stand to gain for hiking regularly and here are some of them.
1. It helps reduce stress
Life can be quite stressful and if you are not careful, you may lose your mind. Hiking provides you with an opportunity to unwind and to take a break from the challenges of life. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature are quite therapeutic and they will help you deal with the challenges that life throws your way.
2. Boosts your brain power
This is another mental benefit that you accrue from hiking. Spending time in the woods will clear your mind and help you think better and clearer. Research has also found that hiking is great for boosting your creativity and memory retention.
You will, therefore, be able to come up with creative solutions to the problems that you are facing. You will also be able to retain information better and this will make you a great asset to your organization in the long run.
Hiking is a great activity that will help you lead a happy and healthy life. Hiking will help you think clearly and deal with the stresses and challenges in your life.
It will also help you remain fit by providing you with a great work out. Read this article to find other incredible benefits of hiking.