Are you sick and tired of going through the same workout routine, staring at the same four walls day in and day out, week after week, month after month, and year after year?
If so, then it might be time to try something new and expand your exercise horizons.
One of the main reasons why people tend to lose interest in exercise is because they follow the same routines constantly, which they don’t even particularly enjoy doing.
One of the keys to success when it comes to exercise is finding something you enjoy doing, which is why we’re looking at the health benefits of hiking.
Hiking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise which is equally as good for the mind and spirit as it is for the body.
Regardless of where in the world you live, and what kind of surroundings you have access to, hiking can be done anywhere, at any time.
But what is it about hiking that is so beneficial, and what makes it stand out when compared with working out in the morning at the gym, or going for a jog around the block?
Here are several brilliant benefits.
- 1 The Many Health Benefits Of Hiking:
- 1.1 1. Improve Your Fitness
- 1.2 2. Build Your Leg Muscles Up
- 1.3 3. Burn Fat
- 1.4 4. Hiking Is Great For Your Mental Health
- 1.5 5. Hiking Is Great For Your Heart
- 1.6 6. Great Way To Meet New People
- 1.7 7. See Nature In All Its Glory
- 1.8 8. Go At Your Own Pace And Do Your Own Thing
- 1.9 9. Make A Weekend Out Of It
- 1.10 10. Reduce Your Blood Pressure
- 1.11 11. Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
- 1.12 12. Get Some Alone Time
- 1.13 13. Hiking Is Fun
- 1.14 14. Plenty Of Gear To Accessorize With
- 1.15 15. Some Great Selfie Opportunities
- 1.16 16. Improved Cognitive Health
- 1.17 17. Every Workout Is Different
- 1.18 18. Tone Your Muscles
- 1.19 19. Strengthen Your Bones
- 1.20 20. You’ll Sleep Better At Night
- 1.21 21. Treat Yourself
- 2 Final Thoughts On Hiking:
The Many Health Benefits Of Hiking:
1. Improve Your Fitness
One of the most obvious benefits, and also one of the most important, is the fact that hiking will improve your fitness levels to no end.
Hiking may be a low-intensity cardio workout, but don’t let that fool you, because the more miles you hike, the greater your fitness levels will become and the fitter you will be as a result.
Whether you want to improve your fitness so you can play with the kids or grandkids without getting winded, or if you just want to get fitter and healthier in general, hiking is the perfect workout in terms of general fitness.
2. Build Your Leg Muscles Up
Thought that the only way to build leg muscles was to squats and lunges?
If you want to build a set of muscular and powerful legs, be sure to do plenty of hiking.
When you’re hiking, you are of course using your legs to power you and get you through the workout, and when you consider that some hiking terrains and trails are more testing than others, you’ll find that your legs respond very well to the training you’re doing.
If you want to tone your legs and build up your leg muscles slightly, hiking is perfect.
3. Burn Fat
Another of the awesome benefits that we can’t overlook today is the fact that hiking is so beneficial for people looking to burn fat.
Hiking is a cardiovascular workout that will burn calories and therefore help you to burn fat and lose weight.
As you know, being overweight is extremely dangerous for your health, so any activities you perform that will help you to lose weight are certainly recommended.
4. Hiking Is Great For Your Mental Health
After the past 14 months of quarantining or so, it’s fair to say that we could all use a mental health boost in some form or another, which is yet another reason why hiking is so popular.
Another fantastic benefit is the fact that hiking is so great for your mental health.
Not only does exercise, in general, promote the production of endorphins, but on top of that, getting outside, some fresh air, in amongst nature, and enjoying your surroundings will work wonders on your mood.
5. Hiking Is Great For Your Heart
Each year, more people die from heart disease than any other disease, so looking after our hearts is essential.
Hiking is a great cardiovascular exercise that helps to make the heart stronger and more resilient.
It also helps reduce LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduce your risk of cardiovascular illness and disease.
6. Great Way To Meet New People
Another reason why so many people are keen to lace up their hiking boots is because of the fact that hiking is a great way to meet new people.
Whether you hike alone or with friends or family, it’s easy to find local hiking groups or meets that you could join up with and make new friends with.
The hiking community is one of the most friendly, welcoming, and positive communities that you could wish to be involved in.
7. See Nature In All Its Glory
One of the biggest benefits is the fact that it gets you outdoors and in amongst nature.
Across the country, there are heaps upon heaps of stunning hiking trails, nestled amongst some of the most amazing views you could wish for.
Whether you’re hiking through the countryside, by the coast, through canyons, through mountainsides, through forests, or quaint little towns and villages, hiking will show you all that Mother Nature has to offer and then some.
8. Go At Your Own Pace And Do Your Own Thing
Another benefit that should not be overlooked is the fact that hiking allows you to go at your own pace and do your own thing.
When you go hiking you can plan your route and an entire trip if you like.
You can follow whichever trail you like and you can go at the pace you like in your own time.
9. Make A Weekend Out Of It
One awesome reason why hiking always proves to be such a popular pastime and activity is down to the fact that you can make a weekend out of it if you so desire.
People often grab their camping gear and head off with their family or friends on hiking weekends and vacations somewhere quiet and picturesque.
If you’re in need of a break and want to relax in the process, a hiking getaway is very strongly recommended indeed.
10. Reduce Your Blood Pressure
When talking about how hiking is great for your cardiovascular health, we touched upon the fact that hiking reduces your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is known as hypertension, and it is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every single year.
Hypertension can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, organ failure, atherosclerosis, and more besides.
Hiking is great for blood pressure as it provides cardio benefits, while also helping to create a stress-free environment.
11. Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Another of the many awesome benefits is the fact that hiking regulates your blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes and hormonal fluctuations, which is why hiking is so useful.
Hiking keeps blood sugar levels managed and under control, making it ideal for your health.
12. Get Some Alone Time
Sometimes we just need to be alone with nothing but nature and our thoughts, and if this applies to you, then hiking is perfect.
Hiking is great because it allows you to get out of the house and it allows you to relax and get some alone time with nothing but your thoughts.
When you’re hiking you have no distractions so you can think clearer and get some alone time, which is great for the soul.
13. Hiking Is Fun
When you exercise, if you aren’t having fun and enjoying what you’re doing, you’ll quickly lose interest and will likely fall off the wagon, as it were, and revert back to unhealthy habits.
Hiking, however, is great if this is a concern to you because hiking is fun.
When you’re hiking you get to see some amazing sights, you get in amongst nature, you may have to battle the elements, and you’ll just generally find yourself having fun and enjoying the hikes you take part in.
14. Plenty Of Gear To Accessorize With
If you do decide that hiking is for you and you want to take it more seriously, the good news is the fact that there are heaps upon heaps of accessories for you to choose from.
You can purchase hiking boots, clothing, tents, bags, and various other pieces of hiking equipment that will make your experience a whole lot more enjoyable.
15. Some Great Selfie Opportunities
Okay, this next benefit may not seem like a big deal to some people, but it’s still nice if you’re into your photography or want to boost your social media presence.
With many hiking trails offering amazing views over forests, lakes, oceans, canyons, mountains, and much more besides, this gives you the perfect opportunity to snap an awesome selfie or photograph.
People sometimes cringe over gym selfies, but there aren’t many who will cringe over a selfie with an Alpine forest and mountainside as a backdrop.
16. Improved Cognitive Health
Whereas there is no solid evidence on this yet, studies have found evidence to suggest that those who spend a lot of time outdoors taking part in physical activity, will have better attention spans and will enjoy greater levels of cognitive health.
17. Every Workout Is Different
Another reason why so many people are so impressed with the benefits is due to the fact that every workout is different.
Rather than going to the same gym and doing the same workout week after week, every time you go hiking you’re in for a new adventure.
Whether you’re trying new hiking trails around the country, or even the world, or sticking with your favorite spot, you never know what the weather will do, which animals you’ll see, and what else you might encounter on your hike.
18. Tone Your Muscles
It isn’t just your leg muscles that will benefit when you go hiking.
It turns out that hiking is the perfect activity for toning your upper body muscles as well.
Hiking, especially on rough terrain or uphill, will result in you using muscles all over your body that you wouldn’t ordinarily use on a conventional walk.
While you might not end up looking like a toned bodybuilder through hiking alone, it will certainly help to tone those muscles and get that fat burnt off your frame, helping you to look leaner and more defined.
19. Strengthen Your Bones
As we grow older, we find that our bones become weaker and more brittle than when we were younger, and as a result, we become more at risk of conditions such as osteoporosis, bone breaks, and fractures.
One of the biggest benefits on a regular basis is the fact that it helps to strengthen your bones and increase bone mineral density, which in turn makes them bigger, stronger, and healthier as a result.
20. You’ll Sleep Better At Night
If you struggle to get to sleep at night, hiking is the perfect activity to rectify that.
Hiking is great for promoting sleep because it burns energy and is physically tiring.
Not only that, but you’ll produce endorphins and hormones responsible for regulating sleep patterns.
Finally, we don’t know what it is, but there is just something about the countryside air that makes you feel tired and sleepy.
We can virtually guarantee, that after you’ve been hiking, you’ll sleep much better at night.
21. Treat Yourself
Hiking isn’t just about getting the perfect body and getting into the shape of an athlete.
Hiking is also about socializing, having fun, and bringing balance into your life.
Another of the fantastic benefits we’re covering today is the fact that hiking allows you to treat yourself now and then too.
A lot of people when they go hiking with others will pack a picnic to tuck into later, with magical views.
Others will find a bar, café, or restaurant and treat themselves to a beer, or beverage of their choosing, along with a delicious meal before heading home happy content, and well-fed.
Final Thoughts On Hiking:
As you can see, the number of health benefits of hiking is seemingly endless, and we haven’t even scratched the surface.
Hiking is a healthy, fun, relaxing, and productive pastime and activity that will provide hours upon hours of fun in gorgeous surroundings, with very few distractions from the outside world.
If you are looking to get in shape, improve your mental health, and just generally feel happier in life, hiking is the perfect activity.