Do Hikers Live Longer? | Hikers University

Many exercises such as biking and swimming keep you healthy and live longer. So, a common question hikers have is: do hikers live longer?

Many fitness enthusiasts are always searching for new ways to improve their health. Hiking is a great choice for improving one's health and fitness.

Hikers tend to live longer than those who do not go out hiking or on long walks. That's because hiking offers a full-body workout that's great for your mind and body. Just an hour of hiking can help you burn up to 500 calories which makes it great for weight loss as well.

Hiking is an excellent activity that can keep you active and healthy. Many fitness enthusiasts swear by the immense health benefits of hiking, making it more than just another hobby.

As fitness enthusiasts, we love a great workout not just in the gym but also in nature, and hiking offers you that opportunity - to stay healthy. After putting our expertise together, we're here to offer you the information you need on whether hikers live longer.  

Table of contents


Do Hikers Live Longer?

According to some studies, hiking's physical benefits extend far beyond cardiovascular health and may even aid cancer patients in recovering. This was found after researchers assessed oxidative stress (a factor known to have a role in cancer incidence, progression, and recurrence) levels in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer before and after hiking in a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

Long-distance hiking trips were discovered to boost the antioxidative ability of patients' blood, which helps them fight illness. Another research found that breast cancer survivors who exercised on a regular basis — many of whom hiked — thought that physical activity aided their recovery from treatment. But, that's not the only reason why hiking is considered good for your health.

Benefits of Hiking: How Hiking Can Help You Live Longer

Improves Balance

Your leg and core muscles continually activate and contract as you walk along a route to offer stability and balance across uneven terrain. Balance improves when these core stabilizing muscles grow over time. Balance is improved by more than simply stabilizing muscles. Hiking also aids in developing proprioception, or the mind's awareness of the body's position and movement in relation to its environment.

The brain is digesting every rock and root while you trek, calculating how much energy it will take to step over obstacles. The brain increases its ability to judge these barriers with experience, and as a result, balance improves. It's critical as we become older to maintain our equilibrium in order to avoid falling.

Heart Health

Hiking is beneficial to one's cardiovascular health as well. Even short hiking trips can increase aerobic fitness and endurance by raising the heart rate to a modest level. Your body adjusts to new fitness levels over time, and you may hike for longer, quicker, and tougher periods without being exhausted or out of breath.

Hiking can also help control cholesterol levels, among other benefits, all of which are indications of cardiovascular health. Regular moderate hikes have been found in studies to reduce hypertension, enhance glucose tolerance, and lower 'bad' cholesterol levels over time. Hiking might be a terrific approach to enhance your heart health if cardiovascular health is a concern for you.

Increases Stamina

Do you want to improve the strength of your lower back? It's a difficult region to work out, but trekking can help. Long backpacking treks with a large load necessitate a strong posture in order to handle the weight, which works your back and core.

Hiking, of course, is excellent for building muscular leg strength, and the advantages are amplified on longer, uphill climbs. Gaining strength has several advantages, including increased bone density, muscular mass, and reduced belly fat, all of which contribute to a longer, healthier life.

Gain Muscle

Hiking also aids in the development of stabilizing our leg and core muscles, which in turn helps improve balance. Hiking is an excellent form of exercise for almost all the major muscle groups, including the arms and your back.

It has also been found that using trekking poles might help improve muscles of the arm and legs while hiking. If going to the gym isn't your idea of a good time, hiking is a great full-body workout. Of course, you should always consult your physician. Are you getting ready for a hike? If you're undertaking any type of physical activity that isn't typical for you, check with your doctor beforehand to make sure you're okay to exercise.

It is also important for you to take it easy when just starting. Once your doctor permits you to go hiking, make sure you go slowly. Start going for daily walks if you haven't done so previously. Every day leading up to your journey, make each stroll a bit longer. Before you start your adventure, stretch your body. Begin by walking on shorter routes and then progress to longer ones.

The next time you lace up your hiking boots, you don't have to go at it alone. For added fun on the trail, bring a buddy, neighbor, or family member. Hiking with a companion, or even a group, may strengthen and improve your relationships.

Hiking is a terrific method to establish friendships or relationships with your companions since it allows you to spend time outside. Hiking a path with a friend, a neighbor, or even a family member may bring you closer together and help you create a good connection.


Peter Brooks

Peter Brooks

I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.

Read More About Peter Brooks