The Health Benefits of Hiking

Technology is around every corner in the 21st century which means that a lot of people prefer to sit in front of the TV rather than get outside and bask in the fresh air. Human beings were not made to lead a sedentary life which means that our health can suffer drastically if we don’t partake in exercise on a regular basis. Read on as we go over some of the benefits of hiking…

Reduces Stress and Improves Mood

It is very easy to become overwhelmed with the pressures of everyday life and feel like there is no way to truly relax, however, hiking immerses you in nature and can be the perfect act of escapism. From the breeze in your hair and the sun on your back to watching as the wildlife go about their daily routine, all of your worries will soon seem to disappear. In fact, many people claim that hiking on a regular basis actually improves their mental health for this very reason.

Vitamin D

Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, hiking is a great way to ensure that you obtain enough vitamin D for optimum health. In fact, just 15-30 minutes a day outside in the fresh air is all it takes. A lot of people are actually deficient in this vitamin because they spend too long indoors, and this can affect your ability to absorb calcium and will eventually reduce your bone density. As a result, hikers tend to be incredibly healthy because they don’t have to worry about consuming vitamin D through their food or via supplements.

Cardiovascular Health

The heart is a muscle and it needs to be worked just like every other muscle in your body. Hiking involves long-distance walking and steep inclines which means that it is a great tool for general cardiovascular health by putting the heart to good use. Overtime, a regular hiker will often see their cholesterol reduce, an improvement in their blood pressure, and their risk of heart disease decrease.

There is a rather important difference between hiking and walking as the former involves off-road tracks through the countryside and the latter typically refers to a familiar environment such as a local park. With this said, the same benefits can be obtained regardless of how strenuous the exercise is as the simple act of going outdoors can be incredibly beneficial. For all your hiking knowledge, get in contact with a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team today!