Staying fit and healthy is key to living well and being happy. Exercise is one easily way to boost your fitness and increase your health, and hiking is an enjoyable and economical way to achieve that. Despite its wide range of health benefits, all you need to begin hiking is a good pair of boots and a little planning before you set off. Spending some time researching can go a long way, especially if you’re new to hiking.
Choose a trail with a length and intensity that is suitable for you, and aim to work up to more challenging routes as your fitness and confidence increase. As with any new exercise regime, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before you begin, particularly if you have any health issues, especially heart disease or diabetes, or are pregnant.
Increases Your General Health
Going for a hike allows you to work on your physical fitness and boost your overall health and wellbeing, while enjoying the great outdoors. The moderate intensity aerobic exercise that hiking provides, is beneficial to your health, and fun to achieve. By selecting a trail to cater to your ability, you can choose the level of exercise you want, without the worry. Reports from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention conclude that hiking is a safe way to get some exercise, for the majority of people.
Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease
Hiking helps keep your heart healthy, and your entire cardiovascular system in good working order. Undertaking an exercise like hiking regularly helps keep the levels of high density lipoproteins up, and your triglyceride levels down, which reduces the risk of heart disease and even stroke.
Works Towards Prevention and Control Of Diabetes
By exercising regularly through hiking, you are able to lower your blood sugar. This in turn can lead to increased control, and even prevention of Diabetes. By performing this regular exercise, you provide your muscles with the usage they need to use up some glucose for energy, and keep that blood sugar level down. Always check with your doctor before starting your new hiking program, as your medications may need to be reviewed if you plan to hike on a regular basis.
Boosts Your Energy
Hiking ups your energy level by increasing the levels of oxygen and fuel available through out your body. By undertaking aerobic exercise such as hiking, we can encourage our body to provide more fuel and more oxygen for our working muscles, as well as the other tissues in our body. A result of this increased access to oxygen is a raise in your energy level, as well as a improved alertness and more endurance.
Helps You Lose Weight
Whether you need to shed some pounds or maintain a healthy weight, hiking regularly can help you reach your goal. When hiking at a relatively slow speed of just 2 miles every hour, a 150lb adult can burn around 240 calories each hour. By starting off at a speed and intensity that suits you, you can work your way towards hiking for thirty minutes to an hour each day, and achieve a great level of calorie burning.
Strengthens Your Bones
When you commit to regular hiking, you can also lower your rate of bone loss and work towards stronger bones overall. Diseases like osteoporosis can be fought off by taking hikes regularly, and research suggests that just two and a half hours of hiking each week can help keep the stiffness at bay in those who suffer with osteoarthritis.
Reduces Your Cancer Risk
Amazingly, you are at a lower risk for a number of cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer, when you engage in regular exercise. Hiking can not only keep you generally healthy, but help you avoid cancer, with links even being shown to lower rates of lung cancer too.
Elevates Your Mood
No matter where you hike, being outdoors, surrounded by new and scenic environments can be great to calm your mood and raise your spirits. Hiking with friends offers a great social opportunity, while hiking alone can also be an easy way to destress, relax and appreciate all life has to offer.
Helps You Sleep
If sleep is hard to come by, hiking may just be the answer. By going out on hikes regularly, you can beat sleeplessness and even allow yourself to get a higher quality of sleep.
Keeps Your Vitamin D Levels Up
Hiking in the great outdoors provides the perfect opportunity for you to soak up some much needed Vitamin D, to help keeps your bones and muscles in top condition. Just ten minutes of sunshine a day is all that’s required to keep your Vitamin D levels at their peak.