Hiking does not only serves as a recreational activity for fun and pleasure, it also has some huge health benefits that come with, huge benefits such as the boost in cognitive abilities, it helps burn calories and it helps fight against depression.
For the sake of clarity, hiking is not the same thing as walking as a form of exercise. A walking exercise may mean walking in shorter distances while hiking means walking longer distances and along your way, you may encounter nature trails like mountain climbing, walking on deep-sand beaches
Studies have proved that your muscles, joints, and hearts function differently during hiking compared to just normal walk. The different ground slopes you come across when you hike also make it different from ground walking.
When you are walking especially on flat terrains you move with little or no effort unlike hiking, especially when you hike on rough terrains, engage mountain climbing, you will need to move up and down along the path and also move sideways-all this skyrocket your energy to a height high enough to burn few calories and improve your cardiovascular.
As a matter of fact hiking on rough terrains escalates your energy levels by 28% compared to walking on the easy and flat surface.
However, everything has its limitation including hiking. Hiking is good no doubt! But you need to be careful. When trailing you need to avoid missing your steps. Missteps can cause sprain to occur in one or more ligaments of your ankle and that could lead to serious injury.
Before you engage hiking you may need to do some work-out on your leg so to allow your leg muscles build strength over time.
When engaging hiking is advisable to take cognizance of these following:
Get a map
It is advisable to get a map of the location your hiking will cover so to quickly find your steps back when going off track.
Hike with a partner
It is advisable not hike alone, you know two is better than one. Apart from the security it offers, it is also okay for maximum fun and pleasure.
Take plenty of water along
Don’t go for hiking without making provision for dehydration, stay hydrated by taking along enough water.
Benefits of hiking to your health
Engaging hiking frequently and regularly benefits your health tremendously:
It lowers risk of heart disease
Hiking lowers the risk of suffering from heart disease because it helps lower blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Hiking aid burning of calories
You just burn up to 500 calories if you can go one hour stretch, if you try to go for more than 2 hours, you will be burning nothing less than 1000 calories of excess fats in your body.
So if you craving for a slimmer stature, I advise you get your hiking boots and start hiking especially through the uneven terrains.
It reduces depression and anxiety
Your mood increases when you engage hiking thereby reducing depression.
Your anxiety levels also decrease when you hike because; hiking helps to quiet the mind and zero down your thoughts. Perhaps you get anxious a lot, I prescribe; yes I prescribe hiking for you. Start hiking and thank me later or you want to get something out of our mind, get outdoor and hike.
Hiking provides vitamin D to the body
Vitamin D is gotten from morning sunlight exposure therefore hiking early in the morning allows you to get a good amount of vitamin D.
Vitamin D helps to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis, it lowers the risk of heart diseases and it helps in boosting weight loss– in case you need to lose some weight. It also makes your bone strong because it contains calcium.
Hiking boosts your cognitive abilities
Studies over time have established that people that tend to spend more time frequently in nature, hiking has improved cognitive abilities i.e. there is improve in the level of their reasoning and memory recollection.
If you engage in higher task like researching, managing, directing, constructing and you need a boost common! Get your hiking boots and hit the road because it improves the brain executive functions like decision making, problem-solving, working memory, sequencing, anticipation and emotional self-regulation.
The stress level seems to be at a constant level when we are going about our daily activities and this is not good enough. Taking some time off to engage hike aids reduction in blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
It increases energy levels
Hiking helps increase your energy levels by adding additional oxygen to your organs, muscles, skins and other body tissues. This additional oxygen helps to strengthen your lungs and muscles thereby increasing your ability to endure more and also increase your alertness.
So do you always feel tired or you are easily tired when you engage some exercises, if all these are true then you need to get your endurance level increase by engaging hiking.
It lowers the risk of cancer
if you don’t yet see the reason to engage hiking after reading what is listed above or you don’t even like hiking at all for some reasons best known to you.
I plead with you to engage hiking for the sake of fighting against this life-threatening disease. Engaging in hiking frequently will help you lower the risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.
It reduces insomnia
Hiking frequently coupled with going to bed early will reduce insomnia drastically, so if you find it difficult to sleep engage energizing hiking and get a more refreshing sleep you deserve.
Prevention and control of diabetes
Hiking frequently helps prevent diabetes because through hiking you can lower your blood sugar and this happened because hiking provides a work out to your muscles thereby moving glucose to your bloodstream then converted to energy for use.
However, get your doctor’s advice if you are diabetic before you engage hiking, your medications may need to be adjusted.