Hiking is a great way to exercise, particularly if you do not enjoy exercising indoors. Getting out and about in the open air and exploring new trails probably will not feel like exercising at all. There are lots of hiking trails which are usually rated according to their level of intensity.
There are lots of hiking guides available so it is easy to choose a trail for your level of fitness. If you are new to hiking or exercise in general, you should start slowly. As your fitness improves you can gradually increase to higher intensity hiking trails.
Hiking is safe for most people, however if you are very unfit or have any health concerns you should always speak to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime. Make sure that you have a good pair of hiking boots and wear them in a little before you go on your first hike to make sure they are comfortable. Take a back pack to carry your maps, water and a healthy snack should you wish to rest.
Hiking helps prevent illness
Aerobic exercise such as hiking will keep your heart healthy, reducing your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. A good circulation helps your body to remove toxins and bring nutrients to the areas in the body where they are most needed to help with muscle repair and cell renewal. Keeping fit will also keep your immune system working well and make you less likely to fall ill. If your body is strong and healthy your recovery time from any illnesses or injuries will be greatly reduced.
Hiking helps you to lose weight
Regular hiking, along with a healthy diet, can help you to lose extra weight. Adopting a healthier, more active lifestyle will also help you to keep the weight off for good. Hiking will raise your metabolism and burn off calories, stopping them turning into fat. As you begin to lose weight, exercise will tone your skin and muscles, making your body look lean and healthy.
Reduce your risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
Osteoporosis is caused by a loss of bone density and is very common in older people. Women in particular are at higher risk. Osteoporosis leads to fragile bones which break easily and take a long time to heal. This can also lead to osteoarthritis which causes joint pain and stiffness making it difficult to get around.
Hiking regularly will strengthen your muscles and bones, helping you to reduce the risk of these diseases. It will also keep your joints supple and flexible, helping to prevent arthritis.
Fight stress and depression
Taking a break from your daily routine is good for you. Hiking in the fresh air will take you away from your daily stresses and give you a chance to clear your mind. Being amongst nature, whether you are hiking through fields or woodland is both calming and refreshing.
Hiking is also a great way to meet new people with similar interests to yours. Socializing and meeting friends is a great way to fight depression as well as broadening your social horizons.
Hiking can reduce insomnia
Those who suffer from insomnia are trapped in a cycle of sleepless nights and tiring days, which can affect both their physical and mental health. Hiking will leave your body and mind feeling awake and invigorated, ready to face the challenges of the day. Hiking regularly and at the same time of day will help to train your body and mind into a more regular waking and sleep cycle which will leave you refreshed each morning.