Most people assume that the best way to get in shape is by hitting the gym every single day. While working out in these spaces is great for your body and mental state, there are plenty of other ways to get fit and feel your best.
Hiking is a form of cardio that allows you to explore different areas and take a break from your normal routine. It’s also a highly social activity that’s more engaging than 30 minutes on the treadmill. If you’re interested in fun self-improvement, check out the health benefits of going on regular hikes.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Cardio is the best form of exercise for reducing the risk of heart disease, and hiking is no different. This form of intense walking helps improve blood flow and strengthens your blood vessels, which limits blockages caused by fatty materials and helps boost blood circulation. Heart disease is the number one killer in America, but activities such as hiking help put you at a lower risk.
Build Muscle Strength
Did you know that you have to tear muscle tissue during workouts to build up muscle strength properly? While this may sound a tad bit gross, it’s actually a completely healthy process. Luckily, hiking is a great way to tear tissue and ensure stronger muscles.
Hiking activates every single muscle in your legs and some muscles in your upper body, depending on the incline. The lactic acid produced in your legs makes hiking more effective at strength building than standard cardio workouts such as flat-surface running.
Improve Overall Mood
Exercise of any kind is known to help improve an individual’s mental health. However, basic workouts in the gym can become boring and are sometimes unengaging. On the other hand, hiking is one of the more entertaining exercises you can do to improve your mind. It’s an activity that allows you to connect with nature and take a break from the stressors and distractions of daily life. Plus, you can’t beat fresh air and amazing views! You can choose to go hiking alone or with others, depending on what you’re hoping to gain from your time outside.
As you can see, the health benefits of going on regular hikes make this activity a valuable way to exercise. It’s the perfect opportunity to get together with friends, go on a fun date, or take some time for yourself. Research various areas around your home that you want to explore—just ensure that you bring along some essential hiking gear for a safe and enjoyable experience.