Hiking is a wonderful outdoor activity that millions of people all over the world enjoy. Hiking isn’t just a fun activity, though. There are so many health benefits of going on a hike. Here are the ten healthiest reasons why you should start hiking.
The first healthy reason that you should start hiking is that it builds leg muscles. You don’t always have to hit the gym for an intense leg day to sculpt the legs of your dreams. Hiking is a wonderful exercise that works all the major muscle groups in your legs and glutes. Therefore, when you’re hiking up a steep incline on the side of a mountain, you’re also working out your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Going on a hike also helps lower high blood pressure, which is a great reason to start hiking. High blood pressure can be detrimental to your health if you don’t take the necessary steps to manage it. Daily exercise and physical activity are the best ways to lower your blood pressure. And hiking just so happens to be a great form of physical activity.
Positive mental health is another great benefit that hiking can offer you. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that the brain produces that make us feel happy and euphoric. Therefore, the exercise you get on a hike can help alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress. Mental health is an important element of your overall well-being, so activities that promote positive mental states are very beneficial.
Hiking also provides a good source of vitamin D. When you’re outside enjoying a beautiful hike on a natural trail, you’re soaking up the sunshine while also getting good exercise. When the sun’s rays hit your skin, it generates vitamin D through cholesterol. Vitamin D is an important vitamin that our bodies need to regulate calcium absorption, encourage cell growth, and facilitate immune system functions. Just wear sure to use an appropriate sunscreen while on your hikes to avoid a sunburn.
Like most hobbies, hiking has a whole community of people that enjoy this great outdoor activity. The more trails you hike, the more fellow hikers you will meet along the way. You get the opportunity to build lifelong relationships with other members of the community when you go hiking. You can find friends to go on daily hikes with or join weekly hiking groups to get to know new people. You can also get insight from other hikers about which trails are best, which gear to purchase, and what snacks you should pack for a hike.
Hiking also boosts bone density, which is another reason that you should take up this hobby. Our bone density weakens as we grow older, which can put us at a higher risk of falls and broken bones. Weight-bearing exercises can help boost your body’s bone density, which means stronger bones and a reduced risk of injuries. Hiking will help your bones become stronger, which is a major benefit, especially for older individuals.
Promoting good heart health is another healthy reason that you should spend your free time hiking. Cardio helps condition your heart so that it can be stronger and pump blood throughout your body more efficiently. Hiking is a fantastic form of cardio that will get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Like any muscle in the body, the heart needs exercise, and cardio is the way that your heart gets to “work out.” The next time you feel your heart rate go up when you’re on a hike, you can find peace of mind knowing that you’re building a stronger heart for yourself.
Experiencing nature is another wonderful thing that hiking allows you to do. The great outdoors has so much to offer, and hiking gives you a front-row seat to some of the most breathtaking views in the world. When you go on a hike, you get to see the beautiful plant life, wildlife, and stunning skies that your environment boasts. There’s so much to take in that you’ll want to bring a camera on every hike. Being able to connect with the earth around you and feeling immersed in nature is positive in many ways. Nature helps you feel connected to things outside yourself, and a good outdoor hike will help you relax and connect with your roots.
Hiking also gives you a chance to travel. And who doesn’t love traveling? There are many hiking trails all over the country, and even the world, that are worth checking out. Hikers travel far and wide to experience famous mountain peaks that people have been talking about for generations. There are few things as thrilling as finishing one of the most famous hiking trails in the world. You don’t necessarily have to climb to the top of Mount Everest to enjoy a good hike, either. There are hundreds of appropriate trails you can choose from to match your individual skill level. So, pack your bags, make some travel arrangements, and pick a trail you’ve always wanted to hike. It’ll be a trip you cherish for a lifetime!
The final reason that you should take up hiking is that it becomes a healthy hobby over time. Having an outlet that is beneficial and productive for your health is essential. We spend so much of our time working, running errands, cleaning the house, and taking care of the kids. That work takes a lot of energy and can wear you down over time. Therefore, it helps to have a hobby that allows you to decompress after a long day or week. Hiking is the perfect hobby to take up because it’s healthy and easy to enjoy at any time as long as you have a good trail to hike.
Now that you know ten healthy reasons why you should take up hiking, you can plan your first hike today. Check out Altai Gear for our selection of tactical hiking shoes that will prepare you for your new healthy hobby of hiking.