By now, the wonders of exercise and activity are not hidden from mankind. Many of us don’t know this, but adding impactful cardio exercises in your daily routine can actually increase your lifespan, make you physically active, improve cognitive function and add value to your lifestyle.
We can work out at home; go to the gym or just to the nearby park for a stroll. However, none of this actually matters if you eventually get bored with it. Many people have mentioned that they got bored with the type of exercise they were doing and finally stopped exercising at all. This promotes obesity and eating disorders, but people who don’t exercise often have a risk of developing severe health complications. For instance, to get type 2 diabetes at an early age is not only because of obesity. Your inactive lifestyle must have a meaningful role to play in this story.
If you wish to stay motivated and active throughout the week, adding a bit of variation to your regular exercise regimen can actually help you go a long way. In this article, we will talk about hiking. It is one of the most popular ways of outdoor exercises that come with plenty of health benefits. Hiking on hills and mountains may seem like a daunting task for beginners. Still, with constant practice, you can achieve wonders in terms of physical and mental fitness.
What Exactly Is Hiking?
Hiking is a cross walking through a country or between the mountains – usually on elevated land. You can hike to the top of the hills or across them to a pre-decided stopping point. It comes with plenty of health benefits as well. The best thing about hiking is that not only it promotes a ton of health benefits, it is also super economical. You really don’t need a ton of expensive equipment to go for a hike. If you are looking to see notable changes in your body, we prefer that you hike on elevated surfaces that take you on top of the hills. Many cities have natural hiking tracks, and for those who don’t, you will be able to find plenty of recreational spots and made-up trails for people. A natural track means that you may get in touch with wildlife, and the paths could be rocky. However, they do provide a beautiful natural view and fresh air that oxygenates your entire body.
Benefits of Hiking
Let’s discuss some mind-blowing benefits of hiking that can change your entire life:
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
The majority of people worldwide suffer from issues like high blood pressure, high levels of LDL cholesterol, clogged arteries, type 2 diabetes etc. Hiking once a week can lower your chances of developing complicated health problems, and it can also shred the fat around your heart and in the arteries. Many people who hike regularly know that this is a great cardiovascular activity, and the more elevated land is the more your heart pumps.
Decreases Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes is quite common, even among young ones. If you want to stay away from this deadly disease, go on regular hikes and keep on track with your diet.
Strengthens Leg Muscles
For a successful cardio session, you need strong legs. Hiking will strengthen your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and hip muscles. You will feel stronger and able to perform cardio efficiently. A lot of female hikers mention that while it seemed like a struggle initially, it is easy to hike across their local tracks now. Some of them even reach the top on their ladies electric bikes.
Strengthens Core and Coordination
Overweight people often feel intense pressure on their core as well as have a tough time balancing themselves. Walking on elevated lands with minimal gear can improve your spine strength while constantly maintaining balance. With a balanced body and a healthy spine, your nervous system will perform much better and help you improve overall mood and organ functionality.
No activity in the world will leave you feeling miserable for the rest of the day. A lot of them may hurt you, especially if you are not strong, but when you are done, a sense of accomplishment, happiness and victory takes over. According to different studies, hiking is known to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety, leaving the hiker happier and in a better mood for days.
Hiking on inclined surfaces burns twice as many calories as walking on a straight path does. If you want to shed those extra kilos, then load up your hiking gear and hit the trails immediately.
Things to Bring On a Hiking Trip
Here are some important things that you need to pack on your next trip. Everything can easily be bought through online stores like Amazon:
- Water bottle(s) to keep hydrated. You can use flavored water as well but not soft drinks.
- First aid kit for potential injuries
- Sunscreen of SPF 40 and above is highly recommended.
- Power bank and internet for your mobile phone
- Navigational items for longer hikes
- Healthy snacks like nuts or protein bars
- Protection tools like a knife.
- Ride a bicycle or carry a folding electric bike if you come from far.
- Standard hiking bags.
What to Wear On a Hiking Trip?
Here is a recommended attire to wear on your hiking trip:
- Fleece hoodies
- Jackets (for colder weather)
- Proper hiking shoes
- Bottoms that do not compress or itch your legs
- Rainwear like raincoats
- Synthetic socks
- P cap
Always carry an extra pair of socks, an extra shirt, along with an extra pair of bottoms in case you get dirty or wet.
Hiking comes with several health benefits. You can improve your overall coordination, flexibility, strength and endurance through regular hiking sessions. Other than that, it is a mood booster. If you want a comfortable hike, make sure to pack all the mandatory items and wear appropriate attire. Nothing can stop you from becoming a pro hiker.