We are so excited to share this with you and wanted to kick things off with a general introduction to hiking and why it’s such a great way to get healthy. First off, if you’re just starting out, we want to congratulate you on your choice! We have found that hiking does so much more than get you physically healthy but it affects all aspects of life positively. If you’ve been hiking for a while, this is just a good reminder (and read) of why you do it and why you should continue to include hiking as a regular part of your fitness plan and lifestyle. So here are some of the health benefits of hiking that give you a great reason to get outdoors!
It’s great for your body.
As we all know, physical exercise is good for you. But it does matter what kind of exercise you fit in your usual fitness routine. According to this Huffington Post article, you can burn up to 500 calories in an hour and that doesn’t account for the incline or the amount of weight you’re carrying in your backpack. Hiking is a full body exercise and when you also target your core, you can trim down your waistline. And when you’re using trekking poles, you are also working out your arms! According to this article on Web MD, hiking prevents osteoporosis since it’s a weight-bearing exercise and being outside gives the body a dose of Vitamin D. Hiking also lowers your risk of heart disease, improves balance, and improves your blood pressure.
It’s great for your mind.
Daily exercise provides amazing stress relief and hiking gives you that and more. When you’re hiking, you’re also getting fresh air, a change of scenery (unless you’re lucky enough to live in the mountains), and a peaceful environment surrounded by nature. Hiking has not only been known to reduce stress and anxiety, but also to elevate your mood. Whenever we go hiking, it is such a great change of pace from our daily routine of going to the work and to the gym during the week. It acts like a form of meditation, our minds are often pre-occupied with the thoughts of our steps, surroundings, and gratitude to be able to experience and appreciate nature.
It makes you happier.
We are usually happy when we’re doing some sort of physical activity due to endorphins, the chemical that our body releases that gives us a positive feeling. We both started hiking due to tough times in life and we’ve found that not only are we getting healthier when we hike, but we are also healed. The healing magic of hiking is one that most other hikers I know are familiar with, whether we are experiencing life’s difficulties and need something to do to occupy our minds for a while or when we are in need of a cure of a broken heart.
Another thing about hiking that makes you happier is that some of the time you can bring your dog along with! Not only is your BFF happy, but you are too as dogs are known to be therapeutic.
So what are you waiting for? Get those hiking boots on and make your way to a healthy body, healthy mind and a happy life!