Contrary to popular belief, hiking is not just about basking in the great outdoors with your friends and family. This activity should be part of your daily routine because it can actually provide countless health benefits. When done regularly, hiking can become your ticket to improving and maintaining your overall wellness.
If you have friends or family who usually hike in different locations, it’s best if you start joining them in their adventures. Sure, hiking for long hours and steep terrain might be tiring, but participating in this activity will be worth it because it provides the following health benefits:
Being overweight can affect your life in more ways than one. When you’re obese, you’ll be too conscious about your appearance and eventually develop anxiety and depression. Obesity can increase your risk of acquiring serious health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma.
If you don’t want this to happen, spend more time hiking. Burning calories while hiking is just one of the benefits you can get from this activity. Hiking a mile allows you to burn 100 calories, which means that the more time you spend hiking, the more calories you can burn.
Over time, hiking can become your ticket to losing unnecessary weight, thus preventing obesity.
Improves Sleep Quality
Getting at least eight hours of sleep is essential to attain optimal health. Regardless of how healthy your diet or how active your routine is, if you’re not getting enough sleep, don’t expect that you can remain healthy. Sleep deprivation can damage your immune system and make you susceptible to common illnesses and diseases.
According to studies, hiking can improve your sleep quality because spending time with nature allows you to shift to a more natural and healthier sleep cycle. When you spend more time outdoors, your melatonin levels will increase, thereby promoting sleep.
If you often see yourself twisting and turning every night because of insomnia and other sleeping problems, hiking might be the solution.
Builds Bone Density
Your bones are important because these provide support to your body, as well as help form your shape. Bones also support your entire body weight and protect your organs. However, as you age, your bones begin to weaken, making it hard for you to move around.
You can effectively combat the effects of aging on your bones by incorporating hiking into your lifestyle. Hiking is a type of weight-bearing exercise that will require your bones and muscles to work harder for your body to function against gravity. Over time, this will help your body maintain or improve bone density, and allow your bones to function properly even as you age.
Moreover, hiking also allows you to get some vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is necessary for your body’s calcium absorption, thus keeping your bones strong.
Stress is a normal part of life. Regardless of your daily routine or lifestyle, you’re bound to experience stress. And, while stress can sometimes motivate you to do more, chronic stress can have adverse effects on your mind and body. Stress can cause severe headaches, heartburn, insomnia, and even fertility problems.
Hiking is a great way to combat stress because this activity can reduce your cortisol levels and blood pressure, producing a calming effect on your body that only nature can offer.
Hiking also involves walking in green spaces, and this can help you easily recover from ‘attention overload’ or mental fatigue, as well as refresh your mind. With the advancement of technology and human’s ever-increasing dependency on it, mental fatigue is one of the reasons why more people now easily get stressed.
Provides Social Support
There are many reasons why having social support, like friends, is important in life. Friends can provide encouragement and support, keep you active, and boost your self-esteem. Surrounding yourself with the right types of people can also provide a positive influence to your life, making it easy for you to get through challenges.
You can achieve all of these things when you choose to hike with friends or when you join groups dedicated to hiking. Spending time with these people can improve your physical and mental health, and can become your ticket to gaining lifelong friendships.
For you to enjoy hiking, invest in the necessary gear and start slow. Listen to what your body is saying, and don’t push the limits as this can only result in injuries. As long as done regularly and properly, it won’t be long before you can easily endure hours, and even days, of hiking!