Hiking is healthy for you, that wont come as a shock to you. But what is it good for exactly? Well in this blog post for Hike for Purpose we are going to find out.
From your heart to your limbs, hiking has it’s advantages. When hiking your heart will get a workout, if you carry a load on your back and carry trekking poles the rest of your body will to. Hiking is a serious workout if you go on uneven terrain and load up your backpack.
What is Hiking good for? And what exactly do you train?
- Lower your risk of heart disease
- Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Boost bone density, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise
- Build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs
- Strengthen your core
- Improve balance
- Help control your weight
- Boost your mood.
But where to start Hiking for the Health benefits?
Hiking is something you can do anywhere and anytime. If you are just starting out I suggest just planning a trail close to home to go to. Whether you live in an urban area of a rural one. Chances are that you can find a bunch of hiking trails close to home. In the Netherlands there are the klompenpaden, or clog trails. More information on those can be found here.
Which are around the 15 km or 9 miles mark and a great place to start. When looking for hiking trails a good app to download on your phone is AllTrails. Here you can find suggestions for hikes. If you want to calorie count then you can also install an app like MapMyHike from UnderArmour or Google fit. This helps you with planning for your meals and exercise if weight loss is the goal for hiking.
Hiking with Hills
Hiking on uneven terrain and hiking up and down hill has a significant boost in your calorie burning and puts more strain on your body. I suggest just focusing on that 1 more hill if you get motivation problems halfway in. Your body can take it but the mind always has a lot of thoughts about continuing.
Hiking with poles
With poles you have the benefit of also using your upper body when you are hiking. You train your arms and shoulder muscles with poles and get that benefit with it. Hiking with poles correctly is a skill that has to be learned like any other skill. I suggest watching some YouTube videos on it or talking to the more experienced hikers that you will encounter on the larger trails. They can make the downhill and uphill battles a little easier on you.
Now just grab your hiking boots and hit the trail. That’s all it takes.
Inspiration for this article