If you’re the type who loves the great outdoors and staying fit, then hiking just might be the best way to clear your head, get close to nature, and burn more than 500 calories per hour! A person weighing around 125 pounds could burn at least 180 calories during a 30-minute hike. On the other hand, a person weighing 185 pounds could burn as much as 266 calories in a hike of the same length!
If you think running is more efficient in burning calories, you might be right. However, the amount of calories you burn will depend on the length of time you spend running. If you can’t run for more than 30 minutes, you won’t be hitting your target amount of calories to burn. You’re better off hiking and burning the same amount or maybe more, without tiring yourself out.
How Hiking Keeps You in Shape?
When you hike, the motion engages major muscle groups that are often overlooked at the gym, including your inner thighs, your deeper core muscles, and your back. Moreover, the motion of hiking engages muscles in all angles. And this tones the muscles even faster. The result? Stronger, leaner, and slimmer frame without spending hours at the gym!
The Benefits of Hiking
Keeps the Bones Healthy
Hiking is a type of weight bearing exercise. The wind resistance acts as the weight that helps you burn off calories. Any type of weight bearing exercise helps cut the risk of osteoporosis. Even better, since you spend a lot of time outdoors, you also get your vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D also helps keep the bones and teeth strong and healthy.
Makes the Heart Strong
Hiking is a cardio exercise that keeps the heart rate up, improves circulation, and increases oxygenation of the blood. All these work together to maintain a healthy, stronger heart. If you’re hiking for better heart health, we recommend walking up and down a hill — it will give your heart an excellent workout.
Improves Joint Health
Hiking not only helps you melt off stored fat and keep the heart healthy and your bones strong, it could also keep the joints healthy and pain-free, eliminate arthritic pains, and cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity!
Uplifts the Mood
Doing any type of exercise will aid in the release of the happy hormone serotonin in the brain. It helps that you can take in the scenery when you hike because this boosts the mood even more. When you hike, you feel more relaxed, your mind is clear, you take in fresher air, and you feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of city living. All these enhance your sense of well-being.
Hiking doesn’t require any fitness level at all. Almost anyone can hike. However, if you suffer from chronic heart disease or hypertension, then you have to consult your doctor first before going on a hike. In addition, you have to start small. Don’t take on a whole mountainside even if you’re healthy. You want the pace to be just right.