Physical benefits of hiking are plenty, provided one carries it out on a regular basis. However, before starting a hike, it is important to check on a few things like the climate, location, and the path to follow. Also, it is important to have company with you. Start slow, follow familiar paths, and wear good hiking shoes to avoid any accidents. This physical activity has numerous health benefits, some of which are given below:
Weight loss is the major benefit. With the trail climbing up and down the hill, one burns a lot of calories. When combined with a balanced and healthy diet, it provides a healthy way to lose weight, and get a lean body.
The lower body gets toned, when one goes on a hike on a regular basis. Trails where there are some elevations are the best, as they act as muscle toning workouts. Also, one could carry some weights on his/her back which can increase the strength. For a beginner, it is always recommended to start off with flat land first, followed by small hills and later on progressing to difficult hills.
It is not tough, and can be taken up by anyone irrespective of the age. Initially, a flat terrain can be selected according to age. Those who have a considerable amount of experience and those with age on their side, can proceed quickly to more complicated trails. People affected with arthritis and joint pain can also benefit from hiking, as the leg muscles get strengthened in this exercise.
Prevention of Heart Diseases
As a result of regular pumping of blood and increase in the blood circulation, many heart diseases can be prevented. Fat is burnt better and the level of the good cholesterol, i.e., HDL, increases in the body. This helps in keeping the body healthy. The arteries get dilated, thereby reducing the pressure on the heart and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Lowering the Blood Pressure
One of the important benefit is the reduction in blood pressure. The blood vessels and the arteries dilate and the insulin production reduces, thereby leading to a reduction in the blood pressure. Thus, reduction in the blood pressure in people affected from hypertension, is one of the important benefits of this outdoor activity.
Slows Down Aging Process
It has been proved that people who exercise regularly age slowly. Also, their immune system is well-equipped to fight against infection. In fact, inactivity makes one susceptible to premature aging, and some amount of regular exercise is very important in everyone's life.
Everyone is under some amount of stress in one way or the other. Some may eat a lot when under pressure, while some cannot eat at all. As both these conditions are undesirable and unhealthy, getting rid of this stress is very important. This activity helps by acting as a powerful stress buster. Getting up early and going for a hike all by yourself, gives you time to think and also helps you to de-stress. It freshens you up, which in turn, brings your appetite to normal and helps you to remain fit.
Other Health Benefits
Some other benefits include controlling diabetes and improving osteoporosis. The immune system also gets strengthened due to the fresh air that we breathe, and this helps in reducing other problems like flu, cold, and sinus problems. People with persistent back pain can also find relief due to this activity. However, it is recommended that people with all the aforementioned conditions should consult their doctor before starting with this activity.
Unlike gym, hiking is an outdoor activity, and a fat burning exercise at the same time. The fresh air and sunlight in the morning, lightens the mood and freshens up a person. When coupled with a balanced diet, it promotes the overall health of a person.