Hiking can improve your life in so many different ways. From the social aspect by helping you interact with people more, to the mental aspect by lowering the chance of depression and anxiety, and even the physical aspect by helping you build muscles and endurance. Does this almost sound too good to be true? Well, hold onto your hats, because we will prove to you how you can get these benefits by only taking a hike once a week!
Hiking improves mood
There are so many mental health benefits to hiking, even if it is just a short distance. It has been found that it improves mood, reduces stress, anxiety, and lowers your risk of depression. It gives your mind a break from the busy-ness of life and the constant overloading that so many of us have to deal with on a daily basis. The fresh air, combined with a physical activity, and the quietness, gives you exactly what your mind needs.
Hiking has many health benefits
It lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and it lowers the risk of various other ailments. It does this by providing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise which is good for the functioning of your heart and arteries. It also helps improve body mass, which is essential in preventing diseases like type 2 diabetes. Doesn’t this just make you want to put your hiking shoes on?
Hiking builds muscle, strengthens your core, and improves your balance
Hiking especially helps you build more muscles on your legs, calves, hips, and thighs. It is also a moderate-intensity exercise, so it helps you not only build a lot of strength but also improves your endurance a lot, allowing you to walk for hours on end eventually. It also helps you strengthen your core muscles as your core constantly has to be engaged as you walk in order for your body to remain in an upright position. As you keep hiking, you will see that your balance improves, and you will gain much better control over a rough terrain. Consequently, it is an essential exercise for elderly people to do as they can get fractures when they fall from loss of balance.
Hiking controls weight
As mentioned previously, hiking can help you gain control over your weight and prevent many chronic diseases by allowing you to shed some of those unnecessary pounds. Combined with a good diet, you will see results in your weight in no time.
Hiking gives you that dose of vitamin D that you need
In recent studies, it has been found that many people are vitamin D deficient even if they live in sunny cities. The reason for this is that many people barely come into the sun during the day at all. Hiking will give you that booster shot of vitamin D in the form of sunlight. You will not even realize that you have been given it!
Hiking can help you meet new people
Hiking can be a solo or sociable event for many people. There are many hiking clubs that you can join, or perhaps you can even start your own! It can be a fun and relaxing way of interacting with new individuals and making new friends.