If you want to be at your peak fitness, you have to spend hours in the gym, lifting weights, monitoring your macros and running as cardio in the evenings right? Well, you can do that, but there are also some other less high impact and potentially more enjoyable ways of getting fit and healthy. One such way is through hiking, and although to many it’s “just walking” it is an activity with many surprising benefits. Read on to find out more.
One of the best thing about hiking as a fitness activity is that it’s low impact. Of course, you will need to choose a lower impact route or course for this to be so.
Low impact activities are perfect for fitness because they burn calories, and work the muscles without putting too much strain on the joints. Something many regular exercisers can have trouble with throughout their life lifetime. Making it a great activity for those concerned about injuries, or wear and tear as they mature that still want a great workout.
If you are under the impression that the only thing that burns off those pesky calories is wearing skin tight lycra and going it at it as hard as possible to the gym, then you are mistaken. In fact, hiking proves that you don’t have to be a gym rat, or runner to successfully manage your fitness. As a two session can burn up to 880 calories. Yes, that right “just walking” can help you get into calorie deficit, or keep you at your maintenance weight. So why bother with the gym at all?
Uses lot of muscle groups
Hiking is also a great fitness activity because it uses many muscle groups. These include the big three: the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. As fitness enthusiasts know these groups of muscles are all located in the legs, and they are areas that you have to work hard to burn calories and increase muscle mass. Therefore an activity like hiking that works all three is bound to be beneficial to fitness.
Cheap to get into
Unlike some other fitness pursuits such as golf or horse riding, hiking is relatively low-cost sport to get into. There are no weekly fees to be paid to the gym, and no special outfits that you need to begin. In fact, you only need some good walking boots, a little inspiration, and a route, and you’re set. Luckily, stores in the industry like Blundstone can provide the first two, leaving you to work out the latter from sites like http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/.
Get to go outside
Lastly, a huge benefit with hiking is that it affects both physical and mental health is a positive way. Your physical health is looked after by the exertion of following the trail. While your mental health can be improved by time spent out of doors, in the sunshine and in nature. In fact, scientific studies have proved that spending just 5-15 minutes in the natural sunlight can significantly improve mood, although don’t forget your SPF! Making hiking a great activity for both body and mind.
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