Exercise is an important part of your health regimen, and it should be something you strive to do daily. Even as little as thirty minutes a day will promote your health, keep your weight optimal, and promote longevity.
Exercise is even better when you can do it outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. There is no outdoor activity more fun than hiking, and as it turns out, hiking is full of benefits you may not know about.
The warm sunshine hitting your face (and giving you that much-needed vitamin D), along with the cool breeze of fresh air heightening your senses is just part of what makes hiking fun. You can surround yourself with all sorts of beautiful scenery when you go hiking, which can stimulate the mind, senses, and body.
Hiking is more than an enjoyable way to spend your time, it’s also beneficial for your health and well-being. It’s sometimes hard to find time to exercise, but if you do have some time on the weekend, try hiking at your local park.
The Physical Benefits of Hiking
Hiking, like walking, is an exercise which is great for almost every part of your body. Regardless of the trail you choose, your body will get a great workout with hiking.
Improved Overall Fitness
It’s no secret that exercise benefits your health, and we get reminders everywhere we go that we need to exercise daily. For many people, it can be difficult to get the exercise you need because of hectic schedules. Not to mention, not everyone feels comfortable working out in a gym in front of people.
Hiking is a great way to get exercise on your weekend when you have more time, and it keeps you out of the gym. It works most of your core muscles as well as leg muscles, all while providing a great cardio workout for your heart.
Beyond muscle fitness, hiking helps you lose weight and maintain an optimal shape. Hiking can burn between 440 and 550 calories in one hour, which is more than standard gym equipment can offer. With one or two three-hour hikes per week, you can easily burn off close to two days’ worth of calories.
Assuming you are also following a balanced and healthy diet, you’ll be able to melt those pounds away with hiking. Once you achieve your goal weight, regularly hiking will keep you fit and healthy.
Hiking helps you lose weight, which helps your heart, as obesity is strongly linked to heart disease. In addition to this, hiking helps to regulate blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease and strokes, and hiking helps to prevent this by keeping your blood pressure levels healthy.
Regular physical activity also helps to promote healthy circulation. Cholesterol is another factor that can cause cardiovascular problems. Hiking, like other aerobic activities, helps to lower cholesterol levels in your blood, which helps to protect your heart.
Hiking is exercise, and like all other exercises, endorphins are released as a result. These hormones are responsible for making us feel good and elevating our mood.
Hiking also improves your health and fitness levels, which can boost self-esteem in those who may need it. Connecting with nature helps to refresh your mind, and it can help ease depressive thoughts.
Hiking is great for your body, and it’s also great for your creative mind. Something is inspiring about hiking through picturesque scenes and breathing in the fresh air that stimulates the brain and boosts creativity.
Our attention span increases as a result of hiking and experiencing new places. Hiking also offers stress relief, which reduces inflammation and supports overall brain health.
Help the Healing Process
It may seem that physical activity would worsen healing because we’re always told that rest is what heals us. However, there is research that shows activities like hiking can help recovery and healing from conditions like cancer. Studies indicate that hiking plays a role in improving the antioxidant capacity in cancer patients, which can reduce symptoms as well as the progression of the disease. There are also substantial psychological benefits for these patients in hiking.
Better Mental Health
The tranquility and beauty of nature, and getting away from workspaces help to stimulate the brain. From fresh ideas being generated to elevated moods, hiking in nature boosts the health of your brain.
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health diseases in the world, and walking is often recommended to patients for therapy. If a walk around the block helps clear your mind of anxious or depressive thoughts, then just think how much more therapeutic a walk in the woods would be.
Technology is everywhere these days, and we spend most of our days with a screen of some form in front of our face. The advances of the digital world distract us from the beauties of the natural world.
Making time to hike each week takes you back to nature and gives you a much-needed break from the digital world. The exercise will help your body after sitting at a desk all week staring at a computer, and the natural light will benefit you, whereas blue light from screens can be damaging.
Be More Social
Hiking is a great activity to do with family and friends. It provides the perfect quality time to spend with your favorite people. When you’re unplugged from the digital world and out in nature, you can enjoy the company and catch up on lost time.
We all need exercise. It’s essential for our health and promotes longevity. Walking has always been known to be a great exercise, and it’s accessible to all ages.
Why not make the walks more interesting and start hiking through your favorite wilderness areas. The fresh air, the sunshine, the beautiful scenery, and the hike itself will have you feeling good and looking good. So grab your boots and go for a hike!
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