Last year, as the pandemic raged through the country and businesses were forced to close, Americans were forced to turn their attention elsewhere. With the outdoors being the safest place in terms of viral transmission rates, more and more people took an interest in outdoor pursuits.
As a result, the number of Americans who went hiking last year surged to new heights. Hiking has always been a popular American pastime, but now it appears to be more beloved than ever before.
It’s not difficult to see why. The health benefits of hiking are just one reason it should be a part of everyone’s routine. Read on to find out what they are.
1. Good for the Heart
As an activity, hiking does amazing things for the heart. Not only does moderate physical exertion get the heart pumping, it also decreases the risk of high blood pressure and reduces cholesterol. Many studies have found that increased exercise can help to reduce the risk of all kinds of cardiovascular disease.
2. More Fresh Air
Especially if you live in a metropolitan area, the air you breathe every day might not be of the best quality. Getting out into nature and hiking allows you to breathe in pure and untarnished air. This can help improve cognitive ability as well as being easier on your lungs.
3. Mental Health
Hiking isn’t only beneficial for your physical health. Getting out into the great outdoors and moving your body can help your mental wellbeing, as well. Regular exercise has strong links to the release of endorphins as well as overall improved mental health.
4. Increased Levels of Vitamin D
Hiking necessitates you spending a lot of time outdoors. This, in turn, will cause your vitamin D intake to increase. Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that affects the health of bones, teeth, and muscles.
5. Increased Strength
Doing low-impact exercise such as hiking can help to build muscles and help improve your balance. This helps to stave off the onset of diseases such as osteoporosis. If you’re new to hiking and want to build up your strength slowly, try using walking stick accessories at first.
6. Weight Loss
Hiking represents a form of exercise that is mildly challenging while still being fun. Because of this, many people find it easier to stick to than other forms of workouts. If you have a goal of losing weight, hiking can be a great path to achieve this.
7. Longer Life
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a shorter lifespan. Conversely, making sure you get up and move around each day can help to lengthen your life considerably. It helps to prevent many diseases, and exercising while you’re young will make it more likely you’ll be able to stay active into old age.
Also see: 17 Best Health Benefits of Walking
The Many Health Benefits of Hiking
The health benefits of hiking are impressive. Especially considering it is such a pleasant activity which, at times, hardly seems like exercise at all.
If you’re thinking about taking up hiking, what are you waiting for? Get up and get out there today! If you’ve found this guide helpful, don’t forget to check out the rest of our content.