It’s easy to see that exercising is quickly becoming incorporated into many people’s lives. Gyms are commonly seen packed full of stressed out people trying to sneak in a small workout every day. What these people may not know is that using hiking as an alternative to running on a treadmill not only will benefit them physically but also reduce stress and many other mental health benefits. Hiking provides a countless number physical and mental benefits, ranging from preventing heart problems, controlling obesity and calming anxieties. Whether it’s a short walk around the neighborhood trail or taking a trip out to the mountains and hiking up the ridge, hiking is an enjoyable and very beneficial activity for the body and the mind.
One of the most appealing things about hiking to many people is that it doesn’t cost much. While the majority of sports games and activities require special equipment to get started, hiking simply requires a good pair of tennis shoes, a water bottle and any other features you want and you’re ready to go. Anyone that owns a pair of good shoes and can physically walk can enjoy the benefits of hiking. Hiking is appealing to such a large variety of people because it’s easily accessible. Nearly everyone has somewhere they can walk that’s close to their home, the scenery possibilities are endless. Cost efficiency is a huge plus when people are considering adapting new routines into their lives.
An obvious benefit is the physical improvements you can see in your body after hiking for a good month or so. Keeping your body maintained by walking is an excellent exercise and keeps your bones working efficiently and is good for your heart. Taking a brisk walk for 30 to 60 minutes three to four times a week can do wonders for improving your health. The American Heart Association recommends hiking to nearly everybody because not only does it burn calories and be very helpful in losing weight, it can prevent several medical conditions. Making hiking a part of your daily routine can decrease high blood pressure, slow the aging process, improve arthritis, relieve back pain and even prevent heart disease.
The number of physical benefits of hiking is endless and its limitations are set solely on you. Beginners should typically begin at short, mild walks several times a week. Keeping up with this routine will keep your heart rate up and burn calories. However, if you really want to push your body to the limit and begin to increase your stamina and endurance, you can increase the difficulty by walking for at least an hour instead of the beginning 30 minutes. If you don’t have time to add in another half hour of walking, you can increase the difficulty by adding elevation. Hiking up an incline adds a lot more work on your body and will build strength over time. Soon after starting the routine of hiking, you will be able to walk large distances, inclined and not, with little to no struggles.
The number of mental health benefits is also very appealing to people interested in adding hiking into their lives. The amount of stress in many people’s lives today can add so much wear and tear, both physically and mentally. Hiking is fantastic for relieving stress and anxiety, and much more affordable then physiatrist sessions. Hiking for a hour or so alone and listening to music can burn off stress and allow yourself to relax and think without interruption. Psychologists know that almost every adult will benefit greatly by adding in more ‘me’ time and there is little other activities that are so beneficial that can do that. Having a short period of time away from people, phone calls and emails can do wonders for a person’s well being and increase their happiness substantially. Many people who have recently incorporated hiking into their lives reported that have felt refreshed and with a new perspective on things after they walk for a good amount of time.
Hiking is an easy and cheap alternative to hitting the gym and can offer a large number of physical and mental benefits. Incorporating hiking into your lives will increase your happiness, your body and your total well-being. Begin experiencing all of these benefits yourself and hit the trails.