6 Unexpected Benefits of Hiking
Whether hiking the Camino or taking a stroll at a nearby nature trail, hiking is a great form of exercise and helps improve the body – both mentally and physically.
No wonder a life long saying to anything from having a bad day to having a stomach ache is “walk it off”!
Benefits of hiking may seem slim and simple, but there really is more to it than that. If you are interested in knowing some surprising advantages, you have come to the right place.
Read on as you may come across a benefit that might convince a friend to join you on your next hike.
1. Tones the Whole Body (Builds Muscle)
Everyone interested in a work out wants to see what sport or exercise routine does the most for your body. Look no further, hiking is the answer. Hiking is a good way to lose weight and build muscle as it engages in multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Though the amount of calories burned varies due to the amount of weight you are carrying to the incline of your hiking trail, the fact is hiking is an excellent way to lose weight and gain muscle throughout your body.
2. Reduces Many Health Risks
Hiking helps to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease. Engaging in physical activity such as hiking lowers the risk of certain cancers, obesity, and helps those who suffer from mental health issues. Studies show that being in nature where there are fewer distractions, lower noise level, and lower mental stressors can have a positive effect to our mental health. Hiking is a great way to be fit in both the mind and body!
3. Can Help Your Social Life
Anyone is allowed to partake in hiking which makes it an easy and fun thing to do with others as well as solo. Hiking is free and as long as you can find a hiking trail near you, it is available wherever you are. To pass time on a hike, people resort to chatting to catch up with old friends or family members and make new friends with those who are hiking the same trail.
4. Helps Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s attempt at healing itself when an injury occurs but often times is painful and uncomfortable. Just twenty minutes of walking, according to many small studies, reduces the immune cells that produce a protein found in the body when inflammation occurs.
5. A Time to Disconnect from Technology and Connect with Nature
We are always told to go tech-free for a it each day and to make sure to exercise each day, but sometimes it’s hard with our daily schedules. In comes hiking! Going on hikes not only is a form of exercise, but is a time to unplug and be one with nature. Being without distraction and amongst nature boosts creativity It hinders our brains from thinking negative thoughts which makes us feel happier and have an instant mood improvement. Who wouldn’t want that?
6. Increases Attention Span
According to a study, those who have ADHD and took a stroll in a park concentrated better after their walk in the park than their peers who took a stroll in an urban environment. Being outside poses less of a distraction and breathing fresh air restarts our brains so we are ready to go once we get back to our responsibilities.
Follow the Camino organises walking and cycling holidays in Europe for adventure seekers from all over the world. Since 2006, we’ve offered a great range of manageable walks and cycles for all age groups, in particular on the famous Camino de Santiago. We were the first ever tour operator to operate the Camino de Santiago by creating manageable sections along the main routes to Santiago de Compostela. We are often copied but never equalled!
To find out which route might be best for you, contact our Camino Planners through the form on the top-right-hand side of the page to get your free customised Camino itinerary.