The importance of maintaining an active lifestyle is continuing to grow in importance. Whether this means staying active in your daily routine or making time for a workout on vacation, we cannot downplay the importance of an active lifestyle on our overall well-being. Unfortunately, many of us associate physical activity with undesired time on a treadmill. Why not trade in your time on the treadmill for a hike?
Benefits of Hiking
Builds Bone Density: The extensive amount of walking involved in this activity helps to build muscle density.
Strengthens Muscles: Hiking is excellent for muscle stimulation. Your core muscles, lower back and legs—quadriceps and hamstrings—are some of the main muscle groups that will benefit from this activity.
Provides a Break from the Daily Routine: We all need an escape from our normal routine once and a while. Hiking provides an opportunity to enjoy scenic views, fresh air and the sound of nature. This makes it an effective for combating stress and anxiety.
There’s Safety in Pairs: This is especially important for new hikers. Having a partner or being part of a group enables you to have support should you get injured or need assistance navigating the trail.
Prepare Properly: Prior to your hike, you should be familiar with all the necessary information, including the hiking trail map and the weather forecast for the day (and having a wardrobe reflective of the weather condition). In the case of a storm, it is recommended to consider putting off this activity for another day.
How to Get the Most Out of Hiking
Start Gradually: There are different levels of hiking trails. Short-distance local hikes are the best option for beginners. These allow you to reap the benefits hiking offers without jeopardizing safety or pushing your body too hard.
Hills Are Your Friend: Even smaller hills can increase your heart rate and burn more calories.
Add a Backpack for Additional Weight: Carrying extra weight on a hike helps increase the calories burned by 10% to 15% and also strengthens your lower back muscles. Carrying extra water is a great way to add weight to your pack.