If you are obsessed with hiking and have been wondering if it has any benefits for you, the good news is that it does. If you have never hiked before, now is a good time to start. In this present pandemic, it is a safe sport to do and a good way to cope with the demands of life. Here are the health benefits of hiking:
Increased awareness and stress reduction
Most people do not live in the moment. They are distracted by many things, both past events, and future possibilities. Someone who does not live in the moment can never be happy. Hiking helps you to live in the present, your mind takes a break from the worries that constantly besiege you. research shows that it provides benefits similar to the effects of meditation. After each hike, you will notice that you will feel calmer and accepting. Hiking also helps you to reduce stress. It releases endorphins which help to fight off stress. It also helps you get immersed in nature, which has therapeutic effects. Through this, you find that your negative thinking is significantly reduced, you are less anxious and your mind is recharged.
Sharpens your mind
A lot of people do not use their minds well. They have put it in a mode in which it cannot think – survival mode. As such, their problem-solving abilities drastically reduce. However, hiking involves you staying alert and keeping your mind open because the trail is not predictable. There may be hidden obstacles, wild animals, slippery paths, etc., on the trail. As such, you need to make some adjustments on the trail and this requires using your problem-solving ability, the part of your mind that helps you to pave your path through life. One of the ways to enjoy hiking is by using the services of Adventure Travel Companies. They can help you plan your hiking based on your hiking level and guide you to avoid accidents and injuries. One of such adventure companies you might want to consider is Ramsey Outdoor.
Increased cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength
Hiking helps to improve your cardiovascular health. When you are hiking, your heart rate increases, your lungs move, and your blood pumps. As much as you do this, the chances of you getting certain heart illnesses reduce. Additionally, hiking is great for building muscle strength. Hiking can benefit your legs, butt, lower back, and core. It strengthens your hamstrings, calves, quads, etc. if you are hiking on rough terrain, other muscles that you do not use often such as your calves are strengthened too. Every part of your body works to keep your body stabilized and help to mitigate the effects of staying in a posture for too long.
Tones your body and lower blood pressure
Riding on uneven terrains, making use of trekking poles to move forward, clambering over sharp inclines and rocks, etc., can tone your whole body. You will find that there is no excess fat anywhere. Also, hiking helps to prevent blood pressure and cholesterol and reduces the risks of those prone to diseases such as diabetes, stroke, etc. if you have high blood sugars, you should consider hiking so that the excess glucose in your blood can be turned into energy.
Increases connection with others and decreases loneliness
In a world where spending time with family and friends are is being threatened by the long hours required to work for survival, you should be grateful for any activity that brings you together. Hiking is one of such activities. Most people always use the buddy system when hiking. This has many benefits. You get to forge bonds with other members of the hiking community and rekindle dying relationship fires. Besides, you enjoy your hiking sessions as you see them as a lifestyle and not as a boring chore. For this reason, you will be less prone to loneliness, and your mental health in top condition.
Gets your creative juices flowing
Research shows that people who spend more time outdoors experience an increase in attention span and problem-solving abilities. Also, people who unplug from technology are more stable and creative than people who do not. As such, regular hiking will help enhance your creativity, which you can use to counter the challenges you face every day.
In light of all the benefits of hiking, it is high time you started hiking if you are yet to be a hiker. Here are some tips for beginners:
Start with a distance that is a little shorter than the one you can walk on a paved road. Go on this distance two to three times before you change it. By then, you would have an idea of the distance and elevation that works for you.
Go with friends
It can be difficult to keep to your hiking routine, but if you do it with other people, you will enjoy it more. Gather some friends and go hiking together. No matter the grits of each trip, the friendly banters and discussions will make it pleasant.