The physical and mental health benefits of walking and hiking

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The Wholesome Stroll: The Benefits of Walking and Hiking

Along with observing a nutritious, nourishing diet, getting plenty of exercise is the other prerequisite for leading a healthy life. However, spending time indoors and splashing out on expensive gym memberships or personal trainers isn’t to everyone’s personal tastes, so why not take advantage of the great outdoors instead?

Walking and hiking is a lovely way to stay active and keep in shape. And it can make you feel much happier and content too. You might need to purchase a few pieces of equipment, such as appropriate walking clothes, but the numerous benefits make it well worthwhile.

Getting physical

Improve overall health — From lowering your risk of heart disease to improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels, walking and hiking are both powerful cardiovascular workouts that will boost your overall health.

Increase strength — Since both walking and hiking are weight-bearing forms of exercise, you’ll build strength in your gluts, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Not only that, you’ll strengthen your core and boost bone density too.

Control your weight — By regularly taking weekday walks or weekend hikes, you’ll have much more control over your weight. Not only does walking and hiking burn calories, building up muscle can help shed fat too.

Reduce risk of disease — From diabetes to osteoporosis and even some cancers, walking and hiking has been linked to reductions in several diseases. Outside activities boost levels of Vitamin D as well, which also helps in the prevention of certain ailments.

Boosting mental well being

Reduce stress — Surely anyone would agree that going outside for a walk and breathing in some fresh air allows you to clear your head. Research suggests that it can reduce stress levels too.

Increase happiness — A lot will depend on where you go walking or hiking, but somewhere with beautiful terrain and scenery is bound to increase happiness.

Diminish depression — Studies have found that walking and hiking may help if you have been diagnosed with depression. Everyone is different, but the combination of exercise and a natural environment has far-reaching advantages.

Improve sleep — Even though a good night’s sleep is beneficial for your physical health, it can also motivate you more and make you happier.

So if you don’t like the sound of going to the local swimming pool or signing up to a dance class, think about walking or hiking instead. Sometimes, there really is nothing better than going outside, embarking on a casual or demanding stroll and reaping the wide-ranging rewards.

Last Updated on March 29, 2019

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