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What are the health benefits of hiking?

  • Sep 15, 2016

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and going for a hike is rewarding in and of itself, but the activity also carries a number of health benefits. Hiking is free to enjoy and comes with the added bonus of getting some fresh air and reconnecting with the natural world. Next time you grab your Pro Trek PRG300-4 triple sensor watch and hit the trail, consider all of the ways hiking is good for the mind and body.

Healthy living
Good Hiker found that there is a long list of ways hiking promotes good health, and indeed as an aerobic exercise, there are plenty of positives associated with heading out on the trail. Walking, even on uneven terrain, is a low-impact exercise, which means it can be done safely for many people.

Hiking can also improve cardiovascular fitness, which reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and a number of other ailments. At the same time, Good Hiker reported that instances of diabetes, cancer and other diseases can be reduced by regular exercise. Because hiking is enjoyable and inexpensive, it can be a way for people to maintain regular physical activity even if access to a gym or fitness center is limited. Taking a walk in a local green space can be just as rewarding as hiking through a state park.

Physical fitness
Aside from staying healthy, hiking can be a great exercise for getting into shape. Health Fitness Revolution stated that even simple hiking trails can tone your lower body and strengthen the entire musculoskeletal system. 

When the trail gets a little steep or rocky, however, serious fitness buffs may see an opportunity for getting into even better shape. By carrying a pack, hiking can become even more of a strength and endurance workout as well.

Mental wellness
Regular physical exercise is helpful for feeling good, as well as promoting mental health. According to the New York Times, however, numerous studies have found that spending an extended period of time in nature is an immediate way to improve mood and reduce stress and anxieties. 

Because hiking combines both of these pursuits, it would appear to be one of the best exercises available. A single session can leave an individual feeling physically exerted as well as calm and relaxed. When done regularly, hitting the trail offers an easy way to stay in-shape and feel good.