Talking about the benefits of hiking, we have a long healthy list to go. However, hiking does include physical and intellectual benefits. Hiking on the trail comes with many bonuses. As you move up to the more intense hikes, the bonuses multiply.
The real benefit of hiking is to go beyond the limits, i.e., the simple pleasures of inhaling clean and fresh air. These benefits also contain relaxation through natural views. Walking on the trails also increases physical fitness that heals and has a soothing effect on one’s mind.”Following information is collected from dailytrekking.com”
As we know, hiking is beneficial for our mind as well as for our body. Let’s start with the easiest of its benefits, i.e., its positive impacts on one’s body’s health or fitness. It is one of the best exercises, as it put every part of our body to work out. No matter what type of trail you are on, hiking is a great way for whole- body workout.
As far as we know, hiking and walking are the same except the fact that in hiking, you walk on the trail of the mountain that makes your body work harder. The trail can that makes the hiking harder than a usual walk can be rough and steep. Rougher and steeper slopes can give you a lot of healthier workouts on the hike.
The more challenging the hike is, the better the workout will be. Hike through a big area can be proven a much powerful heart exercise, which is beneficial to our body. There is a wide range of benefits that we get from hiking. Among those, these are at the top of the list,
- Lowers heart problems/ heart health
- Decreases blood pressure problems
- Builds up firm muscles and body
- Increases body’s capability to control the blood sugar’s level
- Enhances sense of balance
- Builds up core muscles
- Decreases lung problems
- Enhances bone density
- Maintains Healthy weight of the body
You get enough benefits even if you hike on moderate trails and not on steep or rough trails. However, if you are getting this many benefits only from a moderate trail, expects the benefits you get when you hike a harder or rougher track.
Improves Physical Functioning
Hiking is an interesting way to increase cardiovascular fitness, mainly if the route you choose includes rough tracks or hills. This will force your cardiac muscles to work harder. In addition, hiking on a rough track or hills offers a natural way to involve your chest’s core muscles and refine your balancing skills.
As Dr. Baggish says, we usually don’t get that kind of lateral motion by just running on a usual treadmill or bike riding.
If you have difficulties with vision or stability, you can use trekking or walking poles. These poles can make your hike on an uneven track a safer one. You can also use poles, which have a metal tip at the bottom. Put the pole out such that it is in front of you so that you take a little pressure on the joint of your knee.
Studies on hiking or walking groups’ results in actual health improvements. The benefits or results found during the study were published in the British Journal of Sports Med in June of 2015. These results were,
- Reduced BMI (Body Mass Index) leads to better health.
- Lowers cholesterol levels, which results in a reduction of heart diseases.
- Increases the body’s efficiency to intake oxygen, which helps build stronger muscles.
- Improves the body’s capability to live a more active and healthy life.
These results were taken from the groups that were on a much simpler trail. You can expect more benefits when hiking on a rougher or harder track.
Mental Benefits – Reduced Fatigue and anxiety
A study on 42 people was held on the benefits of mountain hiking. The responses from mountain hiking, differences between indoor and outdoor activities were noted. It was found that mountain hiking has a much larger impact on one’s body and the mind, i.e., it could cause a huge reduction in tiredness and worry. People included in the study were found to be less anxious and less tired.
When compared to a treadmill and indoor walking, trail or mountain hiking is much healthier. In addition, the study on mountain hiking showed a big development in one’s mood. The study showed that people were calm and much happier. Therefore, a hard hike may solve many problems, as the doctors should recommend it to promote better mental health.
Further Mental Benefits
Among all the hiking’s benefits, the most important one is stress relief. So even if you hike through a casual or plain track, expect the hike to be a stress reliever.
A hard hike is proved as a natural stress relief for those having difficult times. As the stress results in a growing consensus that contributes to high B.P and heart diseases, a hike on a trail helps mitigate the stress.
You can also have healthy hiking snacks on your hike to give yourself some energy while hiking.
Tips to Make a Hike fun
- Bring a map and a hiking partner (A companion on the hike makes it fun and safe to hike)
- Wear hike boots (select well-fitted boots that support your ankle well).
- Stay hydrated (bring some water bottles with you as it is important to stay hydrated during the hike).
Hiking might not be the first thing that comes to mind when associating with ‘workout.’ However, the physical and mental benefits provided by mountain hiking pack a punch. An average hiker starts to build more muscles in less time, gains more energy, becomes efficient and less anxious, and has fewer health problems.
Anyone with no age limit can easily find a suitable hike for himself or herself. Anybody can find a healthy hike with the right or suitable difficulty level. In addition, you do not have to hike a steep or rough mountain to get to these rewards, but you can also get a moderate hike once a week, and that will be enough for you!