10 Mind-Blowing Health Benefits of Hiking

10 Mind-Blowing Health Benefits of Hiking

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, Blake Lively, and Ryan Reynolds all love doing it. Shawn Mendes, Selena Gomez, and Justin Bieber also have a blast with this activity. Hiking is fun and excellent for the body, and you don’t have to be famous to take that first step and go! Exercise experts are sharing the impressive health benefits of hiking.

1. Reduce stress.

When you go hiking, you’ll discover that a bit of green space is awesome for stress and anxiety. Even spending two hours a week surrounded by nature does the body good. Studies show that people often feel a far more relaxed body and mind when they’re out in nature, and hiking offers an ideal recreational activity for immersing oneself in green space.

2. Improve balance.

Hiking also helps you develop a better sense of balance as you step onto uneven terrain and steeper grades as you ascend and descend. It’s a superb activity for engaging the core, hips, and all of the key muscle groups.

Experts advise making a hiking checklist before setting out on your adventure, especially when it comes to footwear and other outdoor gear. For instance, rugged trails demand a quality boot to provide ankle and foot support, while a pair of trail runners would be fine on a smooth trail for casual hiking.

3. Increase endurance.

When you add hiking to your routine, you’re boosting your body’s endurance, and you don’t have to perform a marathon event. Even as a beginner, you’ll gradually build strength and stamina, which increases the circulation of blood to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

You’ll develop more energy and eventually begin to feel more capable, both in your workouts and in everyday life.

4. Sleep better.

It’s no secret that most folks don’t get enough ZZZs to keep them mentally alert and at the top of their game. Hiking is one recreation that gives your body a full workout, and even your mental capacities are busy navigating trails and pushing through challenges.

By the end of the day, when you’re ready to retire, the exertion you endured on the hike allows your body and mind to better relax and drift into sleep.

5. Think sharply.

Here’s another plus for hiking enthusiasts: the activity helps to sharpen your mind, according to behavioral experts. The exercise supports mental acuity by improving memory, increasing creativity and concentration, and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Improve heart health.

A strong heart is one of the most important features of a healthy body, and hiking increases blood flow to the small vessels around your heart and lowers the risk of heart disease.

Research shows that hiking can lower blood pressure by up to 10 points.

7. Cross-Train

Even some professional marathoners, like Neil Rojas, add hiking to their exercise routines because of the amazing cross-training benefits. The activity prepares you mentally and physically for other sports or recreation since it builds endurance and strength across the muscle groups.

8. Burn calories.

If you want to drop pounds and maintain your weight, hiking is an effective form of exercise to include. The American Hiking Society says that you can shed about 500 calories per hour if you’re moving at a rate of 4.5 miles per hour. Even beginner hikers can achieve this since it comes out to a 13-minute mile-a-pace.

9. Boost Bone Density

Hiking is considered a weight-bearing activity, so it can slow down the rate of calcium loss and help build bone density, even in the spine area.

This is especially important for women with osteoporosis, and hiking is highly recommended.

10. Connect, Bond

When people engage in recreational activities, they tend to focus solely on the physical aspects, but there are benefits that can go beyond the body.

Hiking can give you a sense of community and help you bond with others who also share this activity. It’s a positive feeling.

There you have it. Get out there and hike! The gains are many, from head to toe and in between. You’ll feel the burn and discover your inner strength.

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