Hiking is an adventure. The fact that it’s a wonderful form of exercise is just one of the many benefits of hiking.
By Lisa Caprelli
I’ve run some incredible half marathons throughout California, but have always found better views and less impact on my body when hiking. Additionally, hiking provides you a range of cardiovascular benefits and strength benefits. It gives you the ability to strengthen and tone your muscles while improving endurance and stamina.
Of course, there are many different ways to get your body in shape, and it doesn’t always have to include a membership to the local gym. If you enjoy getting into nature and discovering new destinations when exercising, going for a hike might be the path for you.
To kick off my latest hiking adventure, I traveled with my 12-year-old son to Kauai, Hawaii. We were fortunate to be taken on some of the best island tours with our guide, Tab, from HikingToursKauai.com.
But you don’t need to go to Hawaii. In fact, you can find amazing local trails almost anywhere. It just takes a bit of research and exploration.
Why Take A Hike?
There are many health benefits to be gained from simply walking, and at the end of the day, that is essentially what hiking is. But the benefits of hiking are greater than a simple stroll around the block for a few reasons:
- It often involves longer distances
- You usually experience changes in elevation, forcing you to adjust to inclines
- Mentally, you are less aware of the physical exertion you are expending
- Hiking is a full-body workout
- Hiking increases both strength AND endurance
- That view!
What Are The Anti-Aging Benefits of Hiking?
The anti-aging benefits of hiking are had from taking part in an intense cardio workout, especially when that workout involves steeper inclines. Benefits of hiking, such as helping your body to stay lean and fit, not only help you physically but can also help you mentally. Conquering a trail at any age will, indeed, make you feel ageless and healthy!
Some additional anti-aging benefits of hiking include:
- Reducing blood pressure levels
- Reducing stress
- Improving cardiovascular function
- Building muscular strength
- Maintaining bone and joint health (which can also aid in the reduction of those pesky aches and pains as you age)
- Helps to boost mood and enhance mental wellness
Whether you are looking to boost your stamina, improve your bone density and muscular strength, or just want to find a new and creative outlet for working your body and staying in shape, hiking might just do the trick. You can find many different types of trails and other resources in your local area, so get your butt into nature and enjoy your walk each and every day (or as often as you can). You’ll be glad you took advantage of the opportunity.
I now make it a point to do a minimum of two new hikes per month, no matter where I am. And as you begin down your path, always remember one thing: It is about the journey, not the destination. All the added benefits of hiking are just icing on the cake.