When it comes to fitting exercise into your routine, you might think you always need a gym or fitness equipment to do a good workout. That’s not the case. If you’re looking for a good workout that costs you nothing, then hiking could be for you. The benefits of hiking can help you in loads of different areas of daily life, from improving your health and mood to helping you get away from modern technology and back into nature.
The benefits are endless, and we are bringing you the best ones to help you.
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- Good for Fitness
- Boosts your Mood
- Benefits for your Health
- Good for the Environment
- Social Benefits
- Break from Technology
Good for Fitness
This one might be obvious, but one benefit of hiking is that it’s good for your fitness levels. One of the main benefits of hiking is that it can help with weight loss and management (depending on your goal). When hiking, you are carrying your own body weight and your backpack full of supplies. Then take into account the distance and any inclines during your trip, and you can burn some serious calories.
Not only that, hiking (like walking) is great for toning up, particularly in your legs. This means you see some serious progress the more you do it as your body becomes used to the exercise.
Basically, hiking is a great cross trainer exercise, targeting multiple fitness goals. It’s one of those exercises that pack loads into one; toning, strength building, weight loss (or management) and improving general fitness.
Boosts your Mood
Like most exercises, hiking is also a great mood booster. Unlike other exercises, that mood boost doesn’t just come from endorphins. It can come from being outdoors and in nature. Nature and the fresh air help to reduce stress, helping to keep us calmer and happier.
That doesn’t mean going and climbing a mountain; it can be as simple as heading somewhere remote and just going for a walk. It really can do wonders for your mood.
Benefits for your Health
The benefits of hiking stretch even further, helping you to improve your health both physically and mentally. As we’ve already mentioned, hiking and being out in nature can boost your mood, making you feel happier. Hiking regularly can mean that this boost happens often, improving your mental health in the long term and the short term.
This applies to the physical benefits too. Hiking long distances or up steep inclines can help lower blood pressure and increase the efficiency of the lungs and heart, which can benefit the body a lot in later life. Hiking often also includes a lot of uneven ground, meaning you are strengthening muscles and bones all over the body, especially if you have a weighty backpack. Not to mention all that vitamin D you’ll be getting from being outdoors and the sun.
Good for the Environment
Hiking is amazing for the environment. The only equipment you really need is the clothes you wear, meaning you aren’t buying big pieces of exercise equipment that aren’t always very eco-friendly. Not to mention all of the protected places of nature that are used for hiking that are great for the environment!
Hiking brings with it a lot of social benefits too. People who go hiking tend to do so with family, friends, and even pets. This can help improve relationships between these people, especially if the hike you are on requires help. Those who hike tend to be part of a community too. You can pick a particular hike, and you can guarantee you won’t be the only one walking it. This makes it a shared experience, even if it is with strangers.
Break from Technology
Finally, we have the break from technology. Being out in nature gives you a nice break from the technological advances in modern life. Putting your phone down and getting outside can really help ground you in the here and now. You might even find there’s no signal in some more wild areas of the world, meaning you don’t have a choice but to put your phone down and enjoy the world around you.
Making hiking part of your exercise routine can have massive benefits that other forms of exercise don’t. If you don’t know where to start, go online and search for popular hiking spots. There are lots to choose from, and you can guarantee there will be one close by. Some even filter by experienced you are. If you’re fortunate, you’ll land a hike with somewhere to stop off on the way for a break (and a treat!).
To find somewhere that suits you, try AllTrails: Trail Guides & Maps!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.