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10 Amazing Benefits of Hiking to People's Health
People nowadays tend to look for places where we can spend a day or two for soul searching. Oftentimes, we find ourselves atop a mountain and feeling the fresh breeze on our faces while traversing mountains after mountains.
Well, if we're after the fact that hiking does our soul some good, then we're looking at the right place. And it's not just good for our souls but also for our whole well-being. We've listed down below the top ten health benefits of hiking. After reading this, you might just find yourself packing up your gears and trekking poles, ready to hike the nearest mountain in your hometown.
It Helps You Lose Weight
Walking or running around your neighborhood can make you lose weight. How much more if you go hiking for an hour or more while carrying a backpack? The incline adds to the challenge as well, but since hiking trails are mostly soil, your ankles will thank you after the hike. If you're worried about the altitude which can be a pain sometimes especially if you're not accustomed to hiking, trust us when we say that it's also a great weight-loss tool.
Gives Your Body an All-Over Workout
No need for leg day, core day, arms day, or whatever part of the body day. When you hike, it's considered a full-body workout—and it doesn't even involve machines and equipment. Just you and your willingness to move your body.
Going up steep slopes can improve the shape of your legs. Squatting to pass through a low hanging tree, on the other hand, can shape your butt well, and pulling yourself up to reach the top of a rock is beneficial for your arms and upper body strength. There's really no doubt about how hiking can stretch and challenge all our body parts.
Lowers Blood Pressure and Risk of Heart Disease
Since hiking is considered to be a full-body workout, it's not only limited to our legs, arms, and core, but it is also good for our hearts and blood pressure. It lowers the risk of heart-related ailments and keeps our blood pressure in check.
Exercising while gazing at the fantastic view around you paired with inhaling the fresh air coming from the trees can really do wonders for our body.
Helps Control and Prevent Diabetes
Despite your constant craving for sweets that can amp up your energy during the hike, the whole activity can still help control and prevent diabetes. Since your muscles are constantly moving during the hike, it aids to move the glucose from your bloodstream, thus helping lower your blood sugar levels.
Makes You More Creative
Aside from helping our body achieve the right fit, hiking also helps in re-aligning our focus, therefore, giving our minds more room to grow. Since hills and mountains are usually a couple of miles away from our everyday scene, it detaches us from all the distractions caused by the modern world.
Cliché as it may sound, being exposed to the sun, and some trees can really boost our sense of creativity.
Help Your Body Heal
Believe it or not, hiking even has some healing capabilities. Some research says that it can help cancer patients recover. Considering the amount of stress they have to go through because of such serious condition, hiking and nature help a patient recuperate.
Some call it a psychological effect but believing that nature has real healing powers can change the way you think about your illness.
Boosts Your Mental Health
Since we've talked about how hiking can help us become more creative, our overall mental health is no exception. During a normal exercise, our body releases a chemical called endorphins. It intercepts with our brain receptors which result in uplifting our mood in an instant. With hiking, it's paired up with nature's healing properties such as the soothing sound of birds, rivers, and the rustling of trees.
Help You Sleep Better
The very obvious reason why hiking can make you sleep better is that it is tiring. Trekking around for hours is enough to wear you out, and when the night crawls in, you're sure to be sleeping like a baby.
Another reason is your sun exposure. Because you're out in the sun for most of the day, it corrects your body's circadian rhythm.
Boost Your Social Life
As it turns out, hiking can also help improve your social skills. Whether you like to hike with a group of friends or all by yourself, greeting and meeting other hikers along the trail is almost inevitable—unless you really want to distance yourself from other people.
A simple smile and a nod can develop how you deal with strangers. You're not required to engage in a conversation with them. It's the mere fact that being aware that they are in the same mountain or hill as you are should make you feel at ease—just holler if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.
Makes Life Happier
Overall, any workout or sports activity can really boost our overall disposition. It can be because working out really does wonders for our well-being, but it can also be about the fact that nature undoubtedly has healing properties. It can be considered as a low-cost therapy.
Despite the fact that hiking requires the right gears, it is still fairly accessible to those who really want to make a change about their lifestyle. It won't hurt one bit if you decide to take that step to make your life happier.
Hiking used to be just normal outdoor activity, especially for those who have an adventurous soul. But for those who can't find the time to go out because of restricting work schedules, it really takes one hike up the mountains for us to realize the effects of exposing ourselves to more sun and nature and allowing our bodies to move more often—that's when we'll really appreciate hiking more.
It's time to leave our sedentary lifestyle behind and choose to hike more!