Spending time outdoors is important. Odds are good you already know this. However, justifying your outdoors time is much easier when you’re participating in a specific activity.
Hiking is a particularly smart option to consider. Although the difficulty of hiking trails can vary dramatically on a case-by-case basis, this is often the type of outdoor activity people of virtually all ages and fitness levels can enjoy.
Doing so yields the following major wellness benefits:
Engaging Core Muscles
Hiking isn’t simply walking in nature. Most hikes require tackling hills at least some of the time.
That’s good from a fitness perspective. Hills boost the cardiovascular benefits of walking. They also require you to engage your core muscles. This builds strength in an essential part of your body.
Spending time in nature has been shown to guard against stress, depression, and related mental health issues. That’s important to remember. Hiking doesn’t merely benefit your physical health. It also contributes to your emotional and mental wellness.
Weight loss is a complicated subject. Don’t judge yourself if you’ve been struggling to lose weight. Many different factors, from your natural appetite to the nature of your job, impact your ability to shed pounds. It’s best to coordinate with your doctor to ensure you thoroughly understand what you can do to achieve your weight loss goals.
That said, burning more calories than you consume is generally an important component of weight loss. Luckily, you’ll burn a lot of calories while hiking. To add to the fat-burning effect, experts recommend digging into the ground with poles and propelling yourself forward during your hike. This adds an extra degree of intensity to the workout.
Hiking is one of the easiest wellness activities to share with another person. While walking trails, you can spend hours in the company of friends or family members, without the distractions that so often plague us in modern life.
This is another major benefit of hiking. Researchers have found that strong social ties are key to mental health. Hiking with partners helps you forge and maintain those ties.
Hiking removes you from your everyday life and inserts you into a new environment, where you can adopt new perspectives. This may be why a recent study indicates that hiking promotes greater creative thinking. When you escape your normal routine, you get out of the same mental loop you’re typically stuck in. Doing so allows you to come up with new ideas or identify novel solutions to problems that have been bothering you.
Remember these points if you’ve been thinking about taking up hiking. As a means of reintroducing yourself to nature, it’s ideal. As a means of boosting your overall wellness, it’s genuinely impressive.