Hiking is perhaps one of the most rewarding outdoor activities. Not only are hikers often rewarded with incredible views and the chance to be at one with nature, but they are also rewarded with exercise.
Here are several reasons why hiking is good for your health:
- Hiking improves cardio-respiratory fitness in your lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
- Hiking improves muscle strength.
- Hiking improves bone density, and slows down bone density loss.
- Hiking lowers the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.
- Hiking lowers the risk of colon, breast, lung, and endometrial cancers.
- Hiking helps sleep quality.
- Hiking lowers the risk of depression, as well as tension and anxiety.
- Hiking lowers the risk of the effects of osteoporosis and arthritis.
- Hiking aids in weight control, since hiking burns on average between 250-350 calories per hour, depending on the activity level.
- Hiking lowers the risk of early death (based on a study in which a person that is active 7 hours a week, risk of early death is decreased by 40%, compared to a person who is only active 30 minutes a week).
- Hiking works almost every part of your body, including your mind.
It is important to remember that all of this cannot be achieved without 150 minutes of exercise each week.
Whether it is in your neighborhood, at a local forest reserve, or in the mountains, there is a hike waiting for you!