How is your feeling after going for a hike or spending some time outdoors? Do you think you feel more focused, less stressed, and more relaxed? If it is so, this is not actually a coincidence. Or it might be the fact that you have not tried hiking and still you are interested in what it can offer you. Hiking provides you with various benefits, both physical as well as mental. Some of these benefits might be immediate whereas others might develop gradually over time. In the subsequent paragraphs, we have mentioned the ultimate benefits of hiking on your fitness and well-being.
1. Hiking is beneficial for the heart
It is a fact that hiking is wonderful when it comes to cardiovascular health. It is possible for even light hiking to elevate your heart rate moderately which will help to enhance your endurance and aerobic fitness. In the course of time, your body will be adjusting to new levels of fitness, and you will be able to hike faster, longer, as well as harder without getting exhausted whatsoever.
Hiking will also aid in enhancing markers linked with cardiovascular health such as blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol. It has been shown by studies that going on moderate hikes on a regular basis will help to minimize hypertension significantly, enhance glucose tolerance, as well as minimize the levels of bad cholesterol over time.
2. Helps to keep your mind sharp
It has been shown by research that hiking will not only help you to feel good, it will also aid in keeping your brain in top shape. All forms of workouts are beneficial for us. Whether it is riding a stationary bike, using an elliptical trainer, or walking on the treadmill, pumping up your heart rate will help to make you feel stronger and younger. Exercise will also aid your brain to a great extent thanks to the additional oxygenation that comes along with it.
However, hiking is going to involve something which other types of workouts do not: trails. This implies that it needs you to navigate in a world which is not absolutely predictable. Overhanging branches, slippery dirt, wild animals passing by, trail markers, and hidden obstacles are some of the things which you might be encountering on a trail and this requires macro and micro-adjustments to your route which is beneficial for your brain.
3. Aids in building muscle
One significant benefit of hiking is that it aids in building muscles in the legs as well as the core for improving balance. However, hiking likewise strengthens other muscles of your system including the back and the arms. As a matter of fact, it is a fantastic exercise for virtually any major muscle group within your system. Walking uphill is going to engage the quads, glutes, hamstrings, as well as calves and hiking downhill will be engaging the hips, ankles, and core.
Moreover, it is possible for the arm and back muscles to become strong while hiking by means of using trekking poles or carrying a heavy hiking pack. Therefore, in case visiting the fitness center is not your idea of having fun, then you must give hiking a try.
4. Allows you to remain calm and happy
Exercise can be a fantastic stress-buster. The thing with sets hiking different from other types of workouts is a fact that it is performed outdoors within a natural setting. Although other physical activities might likewise depend on nature – for instance, backpacking or river rafting – those usually demand more time as well as commitment as compared to a simple hike. It is possible to perform hiking virtually anywhere – from a mountain trail to a city park or a public garden – and it will provide you with that much-needed dose of nature which will allow you to remain happy.
Research has revealed the advantages of performing workouts in nature. It has been found by studies that as compared to walking down the road, walking in a green environment will help us to recover from mental fatigue which comes from working and residing in a world which is always distracted by cell phones and computers.
Being in nature is likewise a calming experience and studies have revealed that individuals who walk in nature for some time on a regular basis tend to be less anxious. This helps to protect them against depressive disorders in the long run.
5. Helps you to reduce weight
Although it might not be the objective of every individual, in case you would like to shed pounds then hiking will be a fantastic way to get the job done. Although losing weight by means of hiking might not be that enjoyable, it is much better than working in the fitness center. The calories you burn while hiking will depend on various factors such as gender, weight, and aerobic intensity. However, in case you are just beginning, even light hiking will help you to lose weight gradually.
It is recommended for adults to perform physical activities for at least 150 minutes every week. In case your objective is to lose weight, start out with 3 50-minute hikes every week on a local trail.
6. Improves your self-esteem
While performing strenuous things, it might not be that enjoyable while doing them, but you will definitely feel great afterward. Once you challenge yourself, the feeling of accomplishment can result in enhanced self-esteem. It has been found by a study conducted in the year 2010 that outdoor workouts for even 5 minutes will help to make you feel more confident. Hiking will help you to feel more capable, stronger, and independent, and you will be able to take on virtually anything which the world tosses at you.
Thus, after going through this above-mentioned information, it is clear that making hiking an integral part of your life will help to enhance your physical as well as mental health to a great extent. As it is known to us, any amount of time spent in nature will be beneficial for the soul. While this is definitely backed up by science, the best proof will be how you feel after completing a hike: exhausted limbs, a smile on your face, and renewed following a great day outdoors.