It’s common knowledge that exercise is great for our bodies and minds. However, as a form of exercise, hiking is up there with the very best. Getting outside, even for a short while on a regular basis can have a drastic impact on your body, mind and health. That’s why in this post we present to you five reasons why you should go hiking today!
1. Strengthen Your Core
Hiking, like brisk walking, is an incredible way to improve your core strength and improve your balance skills. Especially if the route includes some hills and is on slightly uneven terrain. However, if you have issues with your stability or vision, using walking poles can give you that added level of security.
2. Lose Weight
Not only will you strengthen your core muscles and improve your balance skills, but hiking can also help you a lot of weight. In fact, a 154-pound person would burn about 370 calories per hour when hiking. If you hiked for three hours or more, you could easily burn over 1000 calories. Now that’s big!
3. Give Your Mental Health a Boost
Hiking is a great exercise to increase the overall physical health of your body, however, it also provides amazing benefits to your mental health. Regular interactions with nature can help to restore cognitive functions, such as memory and focus. Hiking has also shown to reduce rumination (repetitive thoughts focused on the negative aspects of yourself), a known risk factor for mental illnesses.
4. Increase Creativity
This benefit doesn’t necessarily spring to mind when you think of hiking. However, one of the biggest hinders to our creative process and mind is our attention span. Research suggests that immersing yourself in natural settings can improve our ability to focus and attention spans. This is put down to the fact that an increase in natural stimuli can be emotionally positive, as well as a corresponding decrease in exposure to attention demanding technology.
5. Strengthen Relationships
Hiking doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Due to the fact hiking ranges in difficulty, from an extremely difficult climb to a light walk outside, it’s a great way to improve the strength and health of your relationships away from the distractions of the modern world. So next time you’re lacing up your boots. Grab your partner, friend or family member!
Top Tips to an Enjoyable Hike
- Take a partner – Going with a friend or family member is both good for company and safety
- Wear hiking boots – A good set of hiking or walking boots will provide additional ankle support if you’re hiking on uneven terrain
- Take plenty of water – Staying hydrated is incredibly important when going for long hikes. Especially if it’s warm and sunny outside
Challenge yourself and make it a goal to go for one hike a month. Your body and mind will thank you for it!