When talking about exercise, the most common form anyone would think of immediately is going to the gym. While that’s fine and all, how about a little time exploring the great outdoors?
In this argument, hiking is the best communion with the Earth while staying healthy. The fresh air, wonderful scenery, paired with muscles challenged to the extreme, dripping sweat, a gleeful smile after reaching your destination – need we say more?
Here are more reasons to gear up and climb those hills.
Health Benefits of Hiking
There are a lot of perks that hiking can give you, both body and mind. Such physical activity can:
- Improve cardiovascular and respiratory fitness
- Reduce risk of Hypertension and type 2 Diabetes
- Build muscles, particularly your legs, glutes, and core
- Strengthen and boost your bone density
- Improve your overall sense of balance
- Combat stress and anxiety
If anything, hiking sounds like a daunting exercise meant only for adults, right? Wrong. Kids can also get a lot of health benefits from it, such as:
- Better sleep at night
- Decreased depression and stress, allowing them to do better with school work
- Having muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory fitness
- Bone health that helps them as they grow up
- Reduced risks of becoming overweight
How Often Should You Hike?
It’s not just for hiking, but you should always have physical exercise for at least two and a half hours a week. Also, it doesn’t have to be all in one go, which means you can distribute your hours and minutes throughout the week. Maintaining activity for the said minimum amount of time can already do wonders to your health.
Stepping Up the Routine
Like other physical exertions, hiking should be taken gradually. Here are some points to consider in upping the ante while steering clear of injury.
- Take One Bite At a Time
- You don’t have to climb high mountains immediately as you might just stress your body. Start with short trips to accustom yourself to the activity, then slowly increase the intensity from there.
- Uneven Terrain is Your Friends
- When you are ready for a new level of difficulty, having highs and lows in your route can do wonders. It makes you adjust to the changing terrain while maintaining balance, activating different muscle groups while you remain calm to judge your surroundings.
- Get the Upper Body Involved
- Hiking mostly concerns your lower body and core, but there is a way to include your upper body to the perks of it. Use a walking stick or a pole to propel yourself forward, increasing your heart activity while toning your biceps and triceps.
Nature is a great gift, and so is your body. Take care of your health while marvelling at your surroundings, and watch it do magic to your body and mind. Why not make a weekend of it and set up a tent and do some camping.