Written by Charlotte Campbell
Is Hiking Beneficial?
Hiking is an underrated form of exercise, particularly for those who are attached to the gym. However, the benefits of hiking are varied and useful for any fitness regime.
Hiking is a term made popular in America and Canada. It differentiates between regular walking and moderate intensity walking. It is sometimes known as rambling. Generally, hikes are done over a period of a couple of hours or more and take in varying inclines.
What Are The Benefits Of Hiking?
Stroll For Your Skeleton
Hiking improves bone density. As you hike, the body puts force on your bones, encouraging the bones to strengthen and grow. This is vital for injury prevention, especially as you get older.
Full Body Fitness
As you might expect, hiking is great for your lower body. Glutes, hamstrings and quads are the main benefactors of hitting a trail. However, steeper inclines and more challenging treks work your whole body. Your core, arms, back and neck all become engaged as you take of new hikes.
Change Of Scene
Another one of the benefits of hiking is that it allows you to workout in a different setting. Often, when we are dedicated to a fitness routine it feels like you see the same people and scenery every week. With a hike, you can be rewarded with stunning views as well as health benefits.
A key bonus of working out in a natural setting is fresh air. It may seem simple, but breathing in fresh air helps clean out the lungs and is said to provide greater clarity of thinking. Of course, greater lung function helps benefit any fitness goals. Who knew hitting a PB could be such a walk in the park?
In addition, hiking can be a social activity. It’s a common struggle maintaining a strict regime and an active social life. Most often, social activities surround eating out or drinking. However, even the most gym-phobic of friends should be able to handle a simple trail.
You can even keep it social if your friends all share opposing fitness goals. Hiking is an ideal activity for both those that are making gains and those that are all about cardio. For mass gainers, hiking provides cardiovascular benefits whilst strengthening your muscles. For cardio addicts, hiking is perfect for when you want to keep your muscles in top shape whilst allowing yourself to drop the intensity down a level. You can even pack a picnic with your favourite protein snacks to share!
Research has shown that hiking serves as excellent additional therapy for those suffering from depression. The combination of endorphins, nature and a steer away from technology mean hiking is a feel-good activity. So if you’re losing motivation and feeling less than your best, a solid hike could work wonders.
Like many cardiovascular activities, hiking can significantly lower your blood pressure and decrease your risks of coronary issues or strokes.
So next time you’re looking to shake up your workout, consider taking a hike.