Have you ever gone on a long hike and felt exhausted and like you had burned a thousand calories? The reason is because hiking is an excellent way to get fitness! Take a look at these different ways hiking can help you to lose weight.
You Can Burn More Calories
This is definitely one of the top reasons people will hike for weight loss. In about an hour of hiking, the average man or woman burns between 450-500 calories. This is compared to around 300 or more with regular walking. You are using more muscles and going up and down hills, which is going to burn more calories in the same amount of time as walking around your neighborhood. However, the most accurate way to tell how many calories you are burning is to wear a fitness tracker.
It Helps You to Lose Inches
In addition to burning calories, hiking is also going to help you to lose those inches. Even if the pounds aren’t coming off on the scale, this doesn’t mean you aren’t losing weight! You might be gaining muscle through the workout, which means you are burning fat and not necessarily pounds. It is a good idea to take your measurements on the same day as weighing yourself so you can compare those numbers as well. You might also notice that if the scale doesn’t move, you still have clothes that are suddenly looser.
You Get More Energy For Other Activities
Hiking is a great form of energy as well. You would think it would make you more tired, but this type of exercise activity boosts your natural energy level. If you hike earlier in the day, you will feel energized for the rest of the day, which might include more fitness or just being more active in general. This too can help you to burn more calories and lose weight in the process.
It Has Ways to Boost the Calorie Burn
Don’t forget that just hiking alone burns a good amount of calories, but you can increase this exponentially with just a few methods. You can carry a heavier pack, choose trails with obstacles or steeper hills, or try to move around your arms more while hiking to get more muscles working and calories burning. Bringing an activity tracker really helps you to see how much you are burning so you know when you want to increase the intensity.
Health Benefits of Hiking
You might want to go hiking for weight loss, but this is only one of many different health benefits to this particular activity. Here are some different health benefits you can get from going on hikes.
It Helps With Your Cardiovascular Health
First of all, hiking is not only great for weight loss, but it helps your overall health as well. Specifically speaking, it is going to make your heart and lungs healthier. This type of workout gets your body moving and helps you to lose the extra fat at the same time. With these things combined, you are lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, and getting the blood pumping through your heart more regularly. This can help to avoid heart disease and other major issues like stroke, as well as allowing you to live a longer life.
You Become Fitter and Leaner
You will also notice that aside from pounds coming off, you are getting fitter. Your clothes will be loose because the inches are melting off, while you have a leaner and fitter body. You may notice muscles start popping up on your arms, legs, and abdominals. When you are hiking, you are using a lot of your muscles, providing you with an excellent full-body workout. Tightening your ab muscles will further help you to become more fit in your midsection. The more difficult a hiking trail is, the more muscle power it is going to use.
It Can Improve Your Mental Health
Hiking, along with other physical activities, are excellent for your mental health. Hiking is great for releasing endorphins, the happy chemicals in your brain. You will notice that your mood is boosted when you go on a hike, helping you to feel happier and less stressed. It can help with anxiety and depression, both with the physical activity and the scenery. Being outside will also boost your vitamin D, which is also really good for proper mental health. If you struggle with depression or high amounts of stress, it might be time to give hiking a try.
Hiking Helps You to Sleep Better
You can also help with insomnia if you start hiking. This is due to the extra energy exerted through hiking, but also from the sun exposure. Sun exposure can do a lot for you, including helping you to get tired much more quickly when bedtime comes around. It is a really good exercise when you have trouble sleeping.