Once winter has passed, it is prime time to rejoice, but it’s also time to plan a long weekend getaway in the spring. What could be better than spending your downtime doing something that’s healthy in nature? Hiking enthusiasts already know about the many pleasures you could experience from taking a quick hike along a trail or up a mountain. But do you know about the secret benefits of hiking more? If not, we are here to clue you in.
The best thing about hiking is that it is enjoyed at any stage of life and age, regardless of skill. There are around 400 national parks to pick from in every part of the U.S., each providing its own unique challenges and beauty that could suit whatever getaway you might be looking for. In addition to enjoying a great getaway, you will derive even more proven health benefits from going on a hike than you ever thought possible. Hiking will give your thighs, calves, abs, and glutes a great workout. Here are three great benefits you can get from hiking.
1 — You’ll exert the body’s core muscle group and fine-tune your balance
Hiking is a great source of cardio. The more hills that you can include on your hike, the better workout you will get. Anytime you increase your cardio fitness routine, you’ll help your heart work harder. Taking on a natural flow of declines and inclines will exert the body’s core muscles while also fine-tuning balance, since the different lateral movements you will hit up on an un-even trail surface is a lot different than what you would experience on a treadmill, as Dr. Aaron L. Baggish explained.
2 — Being in the great outdoors has been proven to ease stress and anxiety
Whether you were to choose to go hiking down the Grand Canyon or hike down a smaller trail at your local state park, it has been proven that just by being in the great outdoors could ease your stress levels, depression and anxiety. By hiking, you will lower your chances of high blood pressure by as much as 4 – 10 points. Close to 33% of American adults have hypertension—the “silent killer.” It is given that name because its symptoms usually go unnoticed and could cause a heart attack, stroke and other critical health problems.
3 — You’ll increase your chances of living longer
The next time that someone says you should “go take a hike,” honestly, you should embrace it and take their advice! By doing so, you could actually increase your life span. Studies have shown that when you consistently perform physical activities, you significantly lower your chances of getting a chronic illness, including colon cancer and diabetes . Living a healthy, active lifestyle will lower your chance of dying from coronary heart disease as well.