Take a Hike: The Benefits of Summertime Hiking
Many people don’t realize (or don’t even consider) that hiking is beneficial in many ways. Hiking has mental and physical advantages to enjoy — and it’s usually free of charge. As they say, the best things in life are free — and this sentiment definitely applies to hiking. But why else should you consider taking a hike this summer? Read on to find out.
The Physical Benefits of Hiking
Hiking might not sound appealing to some people, but the physical benefits make it that much more enticing. These benefits include:
- Gaining stronger bones and muscles
- Improving your sense of balance
- Improving your cardiovascular health
- Reducing your risk of certain respiratory issues
- Reducing stress
- Burning calories
- Improving brain cell function and blood flow
Stats show that if a 175-pound man carries his clubs during a golf play for an hour, he can burn 460 calories. So you can imagine how many calories the average person can burn if they carry their backpack while they hike. The higher the intensity, the higher the fitness level.
Your hiking pack weight impacts the number of calories burned while hiking. An average-sized person with a light backpack can burn 50 to 100 calories per hour. A heavier load can yield approximately 200 calories burned each hour. Your hiking pace and type of terrain also influence the number of calories burned.
The Mental Benefits of Hiking
As previously mentioned, there are also various benefits of hiking for one’s mental health. Being outdoors and taking in nature alone can improve your state of mind and boost your mood. It can even change your perspective.
Globally, there are approximately 400 million entrepreneurs. Many business owners experience stress and anxiety surrounding their competition. Of course, even those who aren’t business owners experience stress, particularly during a global health crisis. Enjoying the great outdoors, especially when hiking, will tremendously help reduce stress. According to researchers at Stanford University, the outdoors lowers the risk of depression and calms anxiety.
What better way to enjoy the outdoors than hiking? Hiking is also beneficial by building one’s self-confidence and resilience. A person is also likely to disconnect from the hustle of daily life and its cares, allowing for greater focus upon return to work or other obligations.
The Social Benefits of Hiking
In the U.S., between 40% and 50% of marriages end in divorce. With all the worries about business, bills, children, and more, many people tend to drift apart. However, hiking could serve as a good way to help repair marriages or build existing relationships with loved ones.
Instead of going alone to hike, taking your spouse, friend, or family member, will help you to bond with them. One way to repair your marriage while hiking is by recapturing each other in ways that drew you close to each other. You can have time to sit and talk things out while taking breaks and resting from hiking. You all can also enjoy and take in all the good things about nature.
You can also use similar techniques to repair and strengthen family relationships and friendships. Hiking is a good way to leave everything behind and focus on the ones you love. You may be amazed at how much hiking with someone can benefit your relationship.
Hands down, hiking is the way to go if you want to fit in fitness with a whole host of other benefits. Hiking has mental and physical beneficial attributes — and it usually won’t cost you a thing. From gaining better cardiovascular health to gaining stronger muscles and bones, the physical benefits of it are broad.
The mental aspects of hiking also don’t fall short. From gaining a better perspective to eliminating stress, you won’t go wrong with hiking. Your loved ones can also appreciate all the wonderful benefits of hiking. So take a hike this summer and discover all that nature has to offer! You won’t regret it.