The Health Benefits of Hiking

One of the best things you can do for yourself, there are myriad health benefits of hiking. Often passed off as a fad, hiking continues to grow more and more popular as the years go by. This is why so many people swear by it as a great way to stay fit.

The Health Benefits of Hiking

If you’re looking for a way to stay healthy and keep away from urgent care centers, then you should seriously consider hiking. If you’ve never tried it, now is most certainly the time. As the weather begins to cool off, but poorer weather is still in the distant future, going out for a walk is something you should definitely do. Whether it’s through a local park or a road trip away, the worst thing that can happen is that you don’t like it… but I doubt that will happen.

A great way to have a healthy summer, hiking can do a lot for your body, your mind, and your emotions. Here’s why people think it’s so great.

The Beauty of Nature

The gym is a wonderful place to be. A fulfilling activity, you can burst through the doors at any time, break a quick sweat, shower and head home. The soreness is only a reminder of the hard work that you’re doing, and it is sure to pay off in no time. However, it’s still a very modern, hectic way to work out. Unless your gym is dead when you go, it’s likely full of people. TVs and chatter fill the spot, and a pair of headphone is almost necessary to achieve the focus that you need to get through. I love music more than I can say, and even I sometimes yearn for silence.

One great aspect of hiking is that this silence is easy to achieve. Even on a busy trail, you are often separated by hundreds of feet from anyone else nearby. Soaking in the nature around you, hiking is a serene way to get some exercise. Almost like meditation (or fishing, if that’s more your thing), hiking is a great way to get in tune with yourself, while simultaneously tuning yourself up. It can do a great deal for the soul, leaving you with a bigger smile when you return to your day-to-day life. Even the most indoorsy city folk must admit that nature occasionally feels good.

The Nature of Hiking

A result of being in nature, you also can’t discredit the benefit of a natural exercise. Our bodies aren’t built to work out muscles in isolation. Consider the machines offered by a gym, like a treadmill. A treadmill serves one purpose: burning fat. Hour long walks on a treadmill won’t achieve anything other than weight loss. No toned calves, no hardened quads. Just fat burnt. This extends the time it takes to get things done, and often makes the entire process more difficult. If you are working out your arms and lower back, you might have to hit upwards of 10 machines to get an even exercise.

The natural nature of hiking eschews this entirely. A walk through nature allows our body to exercise the way it was intended to, burning fat while also toning our muscles. It would take a lot of hiking to get the same strength gains as weight lifting can provide, but for normal, light exercise, hiking is a great choice. If you are just looking to stay fit, you should note that hiking can burn more than 500 calories an hour, almost 5 times what a normal person burns on a treadmill.

Of course, this also means that hiking is more difficult, but that could be looked at as a pro. When something is hard, the feeling of accomplishment is greater. Hiking can be a very fulfilling hobby when done right.

Hiking is Therapeutic

Almost all forms of exercise are therapeutic in some way. Putting your body to work and seeing returns for it can help immensely in creating a healthy mindset, and leave you happier as a result. Hiking does this particularly well, for reasons mentioned above. Recent studies have shown that hiking helps cure depression, stifle anxiety, and leave you happier all around. Even if you feel content or otherwise not depressed, the dopamine hit can still leave you feeling more fulfilled. Hiking has also been shown to facilitate creativity, and to be a great bonding experience between family, friends, and spouses.

Rapid Med Team
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