Hiking may seem like just another hobby for travelers or photographers, but it’s a legitimate physical activity.
It gives you plenty of health benefits that are both good for your mental and physical health.
If you’re interested in hiking, these eight health benefits can convince you further:
1. Reduces Your Stress
There’s nothing like finding yourself in the middle of nowhere, disconnected from the rest of the world.
Things seem more straightforward when you’re surrounded by nature. It lets you know that everything in your life shouldn’t be as complicated as it is in the grand scheme of things.
Thus, if you find that you’re drowning from the stress, take a breather by hiking in nature.
When you have beautiful sights around you, it makes it easier for you to stop dwelling on negative thoughts. Your mind will be in a peaceful state once you finally get to your destination.
Plus, it will lower your stress levels by a considerable amount.
2. Lowers Risk of Heart Problems
As long as you keep your heart rate up in some way, it can count as your cardio exercise. Of course, hiking will help you in that aspect.
Although it might not raise your heart rate the same way that running or jogging will, it still allows you to exercise your heart. If you’re not a fan of jogging or running, hiking is an excellent alternative.
As long as you’re getting your exercise in, you help reduce the likelihood of getting heart problems.
If you stay lenient and don’t exercise, you’re more likely to get coronary heart disease. Thus, it would help if you did physical activities like hiking to help avoid that issue from happening to you.
3. Improves Mental Health
When you make hiking a habit or hobby that you often do, you will find your mental health is better in the long run.
Since it’s a tremendous stress-relieving activity, doing it all the time gives you an avenue to offload all the stress.
4. Improves Memory and Recollection
Aside from improving your mental health, your mental fortitude also enhances when you go hiking.
There are several mental hoops that you have to jump through when you’re planning a hiking trip. You have to remember several things: the essential hiking items, your strategy when it comes to hiking, trail information, and many more.
These things are constant mental exercises that you’re doing. The more often you do it, the sharper your memory becomes.
Your power of recollection is going to improve the more you hike. Thus, it’s not only your physicality that it enhances but also your ability to memorize things.
5. Promotes Peace and Calm
People say that exercise helps make you a happier person, which is valid for hiking as a form of exercise.
Yet, there is one aspect that sets it apart from the other forms of exercise out there. That aspect is your exposure to the great outdoors.
There’s nothing like being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees or on top of a mountain.
This added effect elevates hiking to a whole different level compared to other forms of exercise. There is some reward that you’ll get every time you go hike, even when you’re hiking somewhere near your home.
Being able to admire the handiwork of Mother Nature is a reward that makes anyone calmer and happier.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
People with hypertension or high blood pressure believe that they won’t enjoy hiking. That’s because they think the high altitude can spike up their blood pressure. But there isn’t much evidence that shows this.
If you’re terrified, consult with a medical health professional first to see if you can go hiking.
If you have no underlying condition other than hypertension, you can go on a hike. But we suggest that you tread carefully and opt for beginner-friendly trails.
Allow your body to adapt to the high altitude. That way, you won’t have to walk away from the mountains and be able to enjoy the panoramic views atop these mountains.
7. Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Too much stress can lead to many other mental and physical adverse effects that should be wary of getting. Examples of the side-effects of too much stress are anxiety and depression.
But since hiking is a great stress-reliever, you might have a great result and reduce anxiety and depression if you go out and have a nature trip.
When you find yourself thinking too many negative thoughts, you need something that will help quieten your mind. Going out in nature and focusing on your breathing, the trail, your trip, and nothing else will help you keep anxieties out of your mind.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by everything, consider basking in nature for a bit, and surround yourself in it.
8. Loses Weight
Since hiking enables you to get up and move, it’s an excellent way to lose weight.
You have no choice but to move around, but it feels better than being stuck home. After all, you have a goal at the end, which is the gorgeous views that are waiting for you.
A helpful tool when you’re hiking for fitness is trekking poles. Your knees and joints are going to do a lot of the work when you walk, so you want to ease the pressure and weight that you put on those parts of your body.
Trekking poles will help you disseminate the pressure somewhere else aside from your legs so they won’t get tired quickly.
Also, even though you’re trying to lose weight by hiking, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be eating while hiking. That is the worst idea you could think of doing.
Thus, it would help if you keep your energy up by eating healthy but filling food while keeping yourself hydrated.
When you go hiking, you’ll be able to bask in the beauty of nature and improve your mental health, both in the moment and in the long run. Aside from that, the constant exercise and activity will help you get your workout in without even setting foot inside a gym. All-in-all, hiking is a well-rounded activity that’s good for you no matter what.