Many Benefits of Hiking

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According to Neilsen, the average American watches over 5 hours of television every day. While there is nothing wrong with watching TV, it is also important to get outside consistently and go for a hike. In this article, you learn the many benefits of hiking.

Some of the benefits of hiking include improving your overall fitness, more fun than walking on a treadmill, get more sun exposure, improved physical social interaction and counteract the negative effects of sitting down.

Continue to read on to see all of the benefits of hiking.

The Many Benefits Of Hiking:

1. Better Fitness Level.

One of the most significant and noticeable benefits that you will be able to get from going on hikes would have to be fitness improvements. Not only is it going to be a great way to get in better shape, allowing you to burn a significant amount of calories, but it will help to enhance your stamina and more. In fact, one single hour of hiking can help you burn over 500 calories, depending on the variables associated with your hike. If you are looking for a single activity that can really help you get into better overall shape, you will be hard-pressed to find one that offers as much fitness enhancements as hiking. Going on regular hikes is easily one of the best ways you can go about improving your general health.

2. Have Fun While Working Out.

A big reason a lot of people fail to achieve their desired fitness goals typically has to do with a lack of consistency and motivation. A lot of people find it very difficult to sustain motivation to achieve their desired fitness level because working out is simply a chore. By looking to make working out much more fun and rewarding through an activity like hiking, you will be able to get in very effective workouts without really feeling as if you are working out. Making your workouts fun can be a great way to get more out of them.

3. Get More Sun.

While you might have been led to believe the sun is harmful, your body needs direct sun exposure in order to generate sufficient levels of vitamin D production. By getting outdoors with your hikes, you will be able to improve your vitamin D synthesis through direct sun exposure. This alone is going to be beneficial for your body and mind. A majority of people in the world are deficient in vitamin D primarily because of lifestyle factors [1]. Whether due to not being outdoors enough or wearing too much sunscreen, this is a problem many are faced with. By getting outdoors and going on an activity like hiking, you should be able to improve vitamin D levels which can benefit your immune system and reduce the risk factor associated with many diseases. For instance, by spending time outdoors and maximizing vitamin D synthesis, you will be able to dramatically decrease the risk of depression.

4. Improve Mental Health.

There is a lot of research on the impact that spending time outdoors can have on your mind. Simply putting yourself in and immersing yourself in nature can offer tremendous improvements in your stress levels, anxiety levels, and more. As mentioned previously, spending more time outdoors will help to reduce the risk factors associated with depression and depression-related symptoms.

5. Social Activity.

Another benefit that you can get from spending time hiking would be the ability to partake in a social activity. With an increasing number of people becoming much more anti-social, it is important to find activities like hiking which will encourage you to get together with friends and have a good time together.

6. Build Muscle.

Along with being able to effectively burn calories and get in better shape, it will encourage muscle building throughout both your lower and upper body. Because you will be carrying a lot of weight on you at once and because the activity involves a lot of climbing and other things, you will be engaging your muscles quite often. This alone is going to allow you to build a significant amount of muscle in your legs, core section, and even throughout your upper body.

7. Counteract The Negative Side Effects Of Sitting.

Many people sit far too often in their daily lives. Research has shown that sitting can be very harmful to your health for various reasons [2]. Luckily, getting up and active through hiking can help to counteract the negative side effects associated with sitting too much. Hiking is a great way to get out of the chair and off the couch and to get active.

8. Connect With Nature.

When you go hiking, you will be able to connect better with nature. Connecting with nature can have a lot of benefits on its own including helping reduce cortisol levels.

9. Have Complete Control Over Your Workouts.

Unlike working out in a gym with a trainer, when you go hiking you are going to be able to completely control the entire pace of your workouts. If you want to have a slow and steady workout, you could always slow down or go on less strenuous trails. Whereas, if you want a faster paced and strenuous workout, you will be able to ramp up your activity, pace, and even take tougher trails.

10. Get Away From Electronics.

When you make the decision to go hiking, you will be able to completely get away from your daily usage of electronics which can be very problematic on its own. Using electronics too often can lead to increased and unhealthy levels of blue light exposure and more. By going hiking, you will be able to completely remove yourself from the temptation of constantly checking your emails and using your favorite mobile devices. This can help you completely relax and allow you to rest and recharge. Hiking can really help you get the proper time away from the daily overuse of electronics and screen time.

Hiking is something you should consider doing. It is easy to get started. And you don’t have to go far or buy a lot of expensive equipment to get started. Look for a local park or trail. And if you don’t have any friends to go on a hike with, use websites like Meetup to find local hiking groups.

References:

[1] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamins/vitamin-d/

[2] https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2019/02/05/study-u-s-adults-are-sitting-too-much/

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