Hiking is a fantastic source of both physical and mental workout. But is it okay to hike every day?
While hiking everyday may sound appealing, you might be wondering if daily trekking is actually harmful to your health. Hiking, in fact, can be the low-impact exercise you need to stay healthy. Consider a brisk (but not rushed!) walk on paved paths or gentle hikes along the shore. Going on a brisk morning hike can freshen your body and mind.
Hiking is a healthy physical and mental activity that can be done on a regular basis. It can enhance your overall health, lower your risk of heart disease, fight stress and depression, and help you lose weight if you incorporate it into your daily routine.
There are numerous reasons to hike every day, or at least as frequently as possible. Any form of physical activity performed every day has a slew of health advantages when executed correctly and in moderation.
After speaking with various professional hikers and other health experts, we have put together this guide to answer the question: is it okay to hike every day? So, let’s take a look at how hiking every day can affect our health.
Is It Okay to Hike Every Day?
Yes, going for a hike every day is good for you!It can help you improve your overall health, and it's a safe exercise for most as long as you don't overdo it and follow general hiking safety guidelines.There are numerous compelling reasons to incorporate hiking into your everyday routine. Maintaining a moderate to fast-paced hike can raise your heart rate and get your lungs moving.
Moreover, hiking requires frequent shifts in directions and terrains, depending on the course you choose, which means that you’ll be receiving the best form of workout there is. You can bend and shift your body in different forms and angles and engage all muscles, from uphill to downhill, over and under obstacles.
Hiking also allows you to spend time in nature. You get away from the noise and the stress of your job, school, or home and find peace that you’ve been wanting for a long time.Spending time outside each day has been proven to be healthy in numerous studies. So, if you’re ever feeling low or stressed, simply put on your hiking shoes and take a stroll outside.
You probably already know the importance of cardiovascular health, but we all know how difficult it is to maintain a mundane routine at the gym. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about boredom while hiking.
You might imagine scaling big mountaintops when you hear the word ‘hike,’ but that's not the only way to go. Hiking can be done at any pace and at all levels of difficulty, making it suitable for people of all ages and possibly low-impact. While you shouldn't expect your body to acclimatize to daily treks right at once, it is critical to make hiking a regular part of your routine in order to get the full health benefits. Trekking once every few months will not provide you the same results as hiking on a regular basis.
Hiking can be a terrific way to de-stress. Getting out in nature and getting our blood circulating might help us forget about our troubles and melt away our stress. It is safe to say that the ancient adage that a little fresh air and sunlight is good advice. Plus, hiking may be precisely what you need when you're having a rough day, especially if you bring a few pals along.
What Effects Does Hiking Have on the Body?
Hiking provides numerous health benefits for the entire body. It is one of the most effective ways to feel great, tone up the muscles, and lose weight. Hiking has numerous advantages, whether you do it once or make it a part of your regular routine. Let's take a look at some of the advantages of hiking.
Aids in Weight Loss
When you start hiking, the first thing you'll realize is that it can help you lose weight. When compared to more rigorous workouts, hiking is much easier to undertake every day.You get to choose how much time you want to spend in nature, how intense you want the hike to be, and where you want to go. You can almost always find an excellent hiking trail no matter where you are on any given day!
If you can keep a quick pace while hiking, you can burn a lot of calories. An average 160-pound person, for example, can burn close to 400 calories every day hiking for an hour.If you do this seven days a week, you will have burnt off more than a day's worth of calories while doing something productive with your time.
Tones Leg Muscles
While hiking is beneficial to the entire body, you will notice significant improvements in your legs. Hiking is an excellent strategy to develop lean legs.If you want to achieve these slender legs, take a one-hour or longer walk, which is quite straightforward to do if you find a suitable hiking path.Doing this every day of the week can help you achieve significant changes in a short amount of time.
Strengthens Your Back
Hiking may be one of the better options if you have lower back problems and are unable to perform other forms of exercise or physical activities. Aerobic exercises are extremely beneficial to your overall health and wellness, but they can be difficult to perform when you have poor spine health or other back problems. Hiking keeps you active without putting any strain on your body while developing your feet, legs, hips, and torso muscles. It can also make your spine become more stable as long as you stay upright.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the most common causes of mortality, and maintaining an active lifestyle can help you lower your risk and stay as healthy as possible.One of the best things about hiking every day is that it lowers blood pressure and helps to combat other heart disease risk factors.Hiking, especially if you can do it for 30 minutes or more at a high intensity each day, can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Strengthens Your Muscles
Hiking every day is a great way to keep your muscles in shape. You will be able to work your muscles in various ways depending on the route you take and how demanding it is.You can either choose to walk in one direction, through the water, over obstacles, or you may downhill or uphill to engage all of the muscles in your body.This will make you feel more powerful and help you burn more calories. Plus, it is beneficial to your general health.
Improves Quality of Sleep
Getting out in nature and exercising every day can improve your sleep quality.Many insomniacs find that being outside more throughout the day and ensuring that their heart rate is elevated during the day is a terrific approach to help them sleep better at night.It will not only become easier for you to fall asleep at night, but it will also ensure that you have a more restful and tranquil night's sleep.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A daily hike is a great way to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing.You may burn a lot of calories while having a great time hiking if you maintain a steady pace for a long time. If you do this every day and maintain a healthy diet, you will be able to use this exercise to help you lose weight.
Improves Bone Density
When you're outside, you don't merely lay in the sun. You're actually absorbing Vitamin D, a necessary nutrient that lowers the risk of heart disease.While some studies are inconclusive, others have discovered that physical activity can help reduce the risk of cancer.A daily hike can help you maintain bone density or avoid bone loss as you become older. Those bones must remain as robust as feasible for the rest of your life.This minimizes the amount of stress you put on your bones while also reducing the amount of discomfort you experience. Over time, stronger bones will avoid fractures and breaks.
Promotes Mental Health and Reduces Stress
Spending time in nature can make you feel better mentally. It can also help you feel less stressed. Simply being outside can help you relax and occupy your mind.This will instantly lift your spirits and allow you to forget about whatever is upsetting you at the time.It's time to get outside and take a trek whenever you're feeling sad or overwhelmed by stress.
Boosts Your Imaginative Power
Disconnecting from technology and those electronic devices is a fantastic way to relax your mind and take a break. You will allow your brain to freshen up without all of those distractions. This alone should be enough to get your creative juices flowing. Get outside and start trekking whenever you need to come up with something innovative.
Increases Endurance and Strengthens The Heart
Hiking usually requires a moderate amount of downhill and uphill movement. By taking a break from the "flat road" and walking on a treadmill or paved trail, you can increase your endurance while also improving your cardiovascular health. Hiking, as a high-intensity cardiovascular activity, can lower the risk of developing various diseases, such as stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.
Toughens the Core
Hiking is commonly regarded as a lower-body workout, but you may not realize that you're also training your core while hiking. Strong core muscles are necessary for everyday activities, especially for athletes (including runners and hikers) to avoid injury and tiredness.
Hiking, in particular, is excellent for tightening your core muscles by balancing and stabilizing yourself on various terrains. In reality, your abs and lower back are more important for maintaining a healthy spine and carrying a hiking backpack.
Working those abdominal muscles while hiking will maintain your posture while supporting your back and preventing injury. Off the trail, there are workouts you can take to improve your ab strength and make your hikes more enjoyable.
Strengthens the Upper Body
Do you want to get a full-body workout out of your hike? For a quick upper body workout, grab onto some trekking poles while going on a hike. The poles will not only strengthen your arm muscles, but will also give you more stability as you walk over uneven ground.
According to a study, hiking poles assist arms in building strength and getting toned since the lower resistance "pull" motion required to utilize the trekking poles serves as a light strength-training workout. Over the course of a 12-week research, utilizing trekking poles boosted arm curl and hand grip strength.
Another advantage of hiking with poles is that it evenly distributes the weight of your body from your arms and all the way to your lower body, saving more energy. It can even enhance your calorie burn by 15 to 20%.
Hiking is one of the most beneficial exercises for your body. While there are a variety of other physical activities that can keep you moving and provide numerous health advantages, hiking is more fun and enjoyable than many of them.
You not only get up and move about, but you also get to be outside in nature, experience new sites, and spend time with friends.Hiking is the perfect alternative for anyone searching for a fresh way to get outside and spend quality time with both nature and people. Find at least one great path in your neighborhood and make it a part of your daily hiking routine.
About THE AUTHOR
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