As physically demanding as hiking can be, it’s no surprise that it comes with a large range of, not only physical health benefits, but mental ones too. A recent study has shown that those who go hiking and trekking regularly typically lead happier, more fulfilled lives.
So let’s inform you on the health benefits of this popular hobby, and maybe it will convince you to take it up for yourself.
Improved heart and lung capacity
Going hiking and trekking regularly is said to improve blood pressure as it drops it by 10 points. It helps to improve the general circulatory and respiratory system by balancing the body’s cholesterol and controlling triglycerides levels which ultimately leads to a reduced risk of heart attacks, cardiovascular issues, and strokes.
Controls body sugar and promotes weight loss
During a hike, your muscles are working more intensely meaning they use blood sugar to actively fuel them. Once sugar levels drop, the body begins to use up fat as reserve energy – this results in weight loss as the fat is burned. With a 30 pound backpack, a solid hour of trekking burns around 200 calories!
Skeleton and muscular health
Regular hiking and trekking effectively tones the muscles and improves their elasticity, particularly in the legs, glutes (buttocks), and the hips. As you work out, your bone density increases, this makes hiking great for those with arthritis and joint issues.
As you make your way through nature, you learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. Connecting with the natural world allows you to connect with your inner peace as you experience nature’s healing powers. It allows you to empty your thoughts and think clearly and precisely. It also curbs mood swings and works as a natural antidepressant; people with mental health issues are often encouraged to take up trekking and hiking as a hobby. Plus a little fresh air never hurt anyone! If you have been experiencing any mental health issues, it’s equally important to speak with a professional. The licensed therapists at BetterHelp can help you strengthen your mental health, to increase the benefits of hiking outside.
It builds on skills
Taking on a hiking expedition can help you and others to build upon essential life skills such as planning, organising, target setting, team building, and goal orientation. Plus it improves your mental strength and ability to adapt. Determination and perseverance are essential qualities reported in people who like to trek and hike regularly. You might be surprised at how much you can learn about yourself!