Hello. Hiking is a great form of exercise for your body and mind. But, it also has its pitfalls (pun intended). Don’t be scared. You can master your workout on safe ground, no problem. With a few tips, you can conquer your fears along with your highest peaks!
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…
First off, as far as hiking goes, let’s agree that it doesn’t have to happen in the mountains. Hiking encompasses brisk walking and sometimes up and down hills. It usually includes a trail and it is always done outside. Hiking is a form of exercise that allows you to convene with nature and de-stress while working tons of muscles.
Let’s Exercise the Good and the Bad
1) You can maintain or lose weight. An hour-long hike, depending on your speed, the incline, and how much weight’s in your pack, you can burn between 350 and 550 calories. A hearty two-hour hike can conceivably consume half of your day’s caloric intake.
2) You can be out of shape and hike. You can start anytime. Just begin slowly and choose level paths.
3) There’s no competition; no classes are required, and it’s free. You can do it anywhere. If you’re not in a particularly scenic area, it’s suggested to imagine a beautiful place you’ve seen before or in a picture.
Keep on Hiking!
4) Hiking uses muscles in almost every part of your body. It’s especially toning for your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. Your calves will start shaping up quickly as will your triceps if you use trekking poles.
5) Hiking improves your cardiovascular fitness. Your heart rate rises, and you can break a good sweat. But, don’t forget your water! Bring plenty of H2O, but also bring a filter in a case you get in sticky (dry) situation.
6) Hikers have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and high cholesterol than those who do not exercise.
7) Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise. For women, this is especially important because it maintains bone density. (Or, at least slows down the loss of mass.)
Up, Up, Up, We Go!
8) Hiking improves your core strength. This, in turn, improves your sense of balance.
9) Hiking stimulates the release of endorphins. You feel good during and after.
10) Going on a hike with a group allows for some great social time (especially if you stop for a snack in the middle.)
11) You shouldn’t go hiking alone. If you insist on going solo, make sure you tell someone exactly where you’re going. Bring regular supplies, but especially a whistle.
12) It can be too hot. You can burn or dehydrate. Choose morning hikes. Always bring a lot of water. Wear and bring sunscreen as well as a hat like Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats.
It can also be too cold. Wear layers of clothing. Make sure there’s good tread on your shoes in case of ice. It can also rain. Pack a poncho and prepare for slippery mud.
Keep On Climbing!
13) If you hike in higher altitude than you’re used to, you can get sick. You may feel nauseas, lightheaded, and dehydrated. Drink water and rest.
You may feel nauseous, lightheaded, and dehydrated. Drink and rest. Drinking water— and having a hydration backpack and/or bladder will help a camel-ton.
You’re Just Near the End!!!!
15) You might run into a snake, bear, mountain lion, or poison oak. Know what kind of creatures and plants are on your trail. Carry a deterrent and also learn how to discourage a real confrontation.
With that said, hopefully, you are not scared off from taking a hike. As you can see, the benefits are significantly higher. Hiking can keep the body in shape, but it can also fulfill the soul. It’s truly a light form of exercise—one that almost seems effortless! (Until you get to that big rocky hill. But don’t think about it.) Just enjoy…