Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activity and it is a fascinating yet challenging sport. Hiking is considered as aerobic activity that has many benefits to health. People has started to do hiking since long ago. They love to do it as a nature pleasure traveling. While hiking you should pay attention to body condition and fitness and preparing other factors too. The idea of hiking started from 18th century. Hiking its not about walking, its also may refer to climb hills or mountain for longer period. If you are keen to know the benefits of hiking, check this explanation.
1. Help to lose weight
Health Benefits of Hiking for losing weight must be you best choice, you could burn > 400 calories in one hiking activities. Vigorous walking in hiking activity can really help to get rid excessive pounds on your body and improve your fitness. As we know that obesity and overweight is a problem worldwide and it has become a serious epidemic. Obesity is one of the lead factor that can cause several disease such as heart disease and diabetes. According to study by American Surgeon in December 2011 reported that two-third of Americans are overweight or obese nowadays and the number of obesity rise every year.
Scientist suggested that people who want to prevent obesity and lose weight should consider to take more physical activity such as walking. Based on a book “walking for health” walking is best way to lose weight. The result of walking in effort to lose pound will be permanently remain to the body. During one hour walking or hiking, a person can burn 240 calories
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2. Prevent Heart disease
Heart disease is the number one disease which cause highest mortality among people in world including America. The number of American people who died due to heart disease is greater than American who died in World war II. Everyday more than 2600 people die in America due to heart disease or we can say that every 33 second, a person die from such heart disease.
One factor that causing heart disease is physical inactivity. By taking regular walk or hiking, you can reduce the risk of getting heart disease by half compared to those who don’t take regular exercise.
3. Reduce cholesterol level
Hiking not only great for losing pounds but it also can reduce the cholesterol level. It increase the good fat “High Density Lipoprotein” or HDL and this HDL can decrease the level of bad fat or “Low Density Lipoprotein” in blood especially who stuck in the arteries. According to a study, walking is an effective way to maintain healthy level of cholesterol in the body.
4. Lowering blood pressure
Physical activity has been proven can decrease the blood pressure including walking or hiking. Its a good news for people who suffer from hypertension. Hypertension is one of most health problem in the world and it can be solved by medication. Instead of having medication that require high cost, why not try to take a walk or hiking since it has vigorous benefits to health.
According to study, regular exercise such as walking can decrease the level of systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 100mmHG. Walking also reduce the norepinephrine which promotes high blood pressure. The study which conducted by Scientist involved 19 men that suffer from hypertension. After 10 weeks of regular exercise the blood pressure of those men dropped dramatically.
5. Improve mental health
Physical activity as well as mental health are two main important thing that we should pay attention to keep healthy body and mind. Modern people are easy to depressed and experience stress. Walking or hiking have some medical benefits including improving mental health. If you getting stress with your job, activities or anything you can just take a walk or hike in a beautiful hiking track in nature area.
6. Relieve anxiety
Anxiety is one of mental disorder which can cause several problem. Hiking can promotes good mood and relive anxiety. Walking during hiking period can trigger the brain to release a chemical to the body which called as endorphins. Endorphine can help to calming nerve and muscle.
According to a study, it is reported that after some times of hiking, people experience lower the blood pressure and anxiety as well.
7. Slower aging process
Physical inactivity can promotes aging. According to a study which published in American Journal of Public Health during April 2001 found the relationship of moratlity and physical inactivity. Unhealthy life style is one cause of people who experience earlier aging.
8. Keeping strong bones
Walking especially hiking can increase bone density and slower the rate of calcium loss from the bones. It can keep the bones strong and prevent from osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a type of bone disorder that affect to elderly especially old woman who lack of calcium consumption. Walking can also decrease the bone’s porosity so bones will be harder to break or experience fracture.
9. Improves respiratory function
Hiking in wildlife and nature can give a great impact to the body, its not only healthy but refreshing. By walking in nature and inhale fresh air, you make an improvement on your lung and other respiratory tract. While some people used to inhale bad air in city with large number of pollution, people who hike or walking regularly can get better air quality and increase their respiratory function.
Walking also can make our air cleaner, just think if people are not lazy to walk, they can reduce the usage of motorcycle or car which leads to air pollution. By walking two miles a day, it can prevent 730 pounds of carbon dioxide gas entering the atmosphere.
10. Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes is a common disease nowadays. It is known as metabolic disorder which affected blood sugar level. Human body has a hormone called insulin which can control the break down of sugar within the blood. This hormone is produced by pancreas cell.
Mostly diabetes patient has insulin resistance ( diabetes type 2), and its rare to found diabetes patient which the pancreatic cells are broken or doesn’t produce enough insulin ( diabetes type 1 ). Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death. Regular exercise that taken by person including hiking can prevent from diabetes and reduce its degenerative effect in diabetes patient.
11. Reduce the symptom of arthritis
Arthritis is a common auto-immune disease which cause joint pain. Physical inactivity can make the symptoms of arthritis become worse. People with rheumatoid arthritis should have regular exercise and hiking can be a great option. Walking can also reduce joint pain and make it more flexible.
12. Strengthen muscle
Walking can exactly strengthen the muscle especially the legs. It will make you feel more active and have better movement. This is why many people who regularly do hiking are gaining healthier body shape and their muscle are well trained.
13. Relieve back pain
Hiking benefits could be you best choice to relieve back pain. If you often experience back pain after work or study, its maybe due to injury or just because too much sitting on chair facing computer. Injury may also cause back pain and having such back pain will be really annoying. People who has back pain can’t do hard exercise but maybe taking a walk or hiking is considerable. Before you try to cure your backache with experience hiking, its better to consult your doctor first.
14. Improve endurance
People who are less active usually have bad endurance and stamina. They will easily to feel tired and weak. Hiking can be a good solution to improve your endurance. Do hiking on weekend to train your muscle and body will significantly improve your fitness and endurance so you won’t be easy to feel tired and stiff after work during work day.
15. Strengthen immune system
Another great reason why we should start taking walk and hike is because it can improve immune system function. During physical activity like hiking, body will produce more hormone and neurochemical that can strengthen immune system function especially in fighting several disease such as common cold and flu. Long distance hiking that taken by person may also cause fatigue, drowsiness, dehydration and other health problem.
16. Prevent cancer
Cancer is nightmare for almost people in the world. Cancer has many risk factors including unhealthy lifestyle and physical inactivity. Lack of physical activity will make the body weak and easy to affected by free radicals. Later the free radicals will enter the body and damage DNA.
Those damaging DNA will lead to uncontrolled cells proliferation which cause cancer. Having regular exercise like hiking can make your body strong and improve the ability to fight free radicals effect.
17. Promotes better sleep
Having problem with sleep? You should try to go on hiking. It can improve your fitness and after several time walking your body will release some stress reliever hormones that can make you feel calm and promotes sleep.
Health Risk Of Hiking
Hiking is a vigorous and great exercise which can make you health and happy but excessive things is also will cause problem. Doing non-stop hiking will make you weak and causing muscle pain, fatigue, dehydration, drowsiness and etc.
Before doing hiking its better to consult doctor and prepare your hiking activity well. It is also important to know the hiking track before you go, many accident can be happen during you climb hills or mountain and it is also can be dangerous life threatening sport if you don’t pay attention on safety rule of hiking.
Tips Before Go Hiking
Hiking is totally fun and healthy but before you are going to do it, better check these tips :
- Know the location first or t least make sure the territory or your hiking track is save enough by doing research
- Don’t forget to pack all the things you need including some change clothes, emergency aid kit, map, GPS, compass, food, water, and other important stuff
- Start your hiking in early morning and avoid to do hiking at night if you are a starter.
- Its better if you hiking in group because it less risky
- If you are hiking with family and bringing kids with you, better choose location with no barrier. Children have different ability to hike compared to adult
- After hiking session, take plenty of resting time and get some supplement if you need it. Drink more water it will make you feel better and prevent dehydration.
That all some of powerful reasons why we should be active and try hiking. You will be healthier and fresh. Your mind will be clear, pain will be reduced and you may also have motivation to eat better and healthy foods. Some people love hiking and you may also love it and wanna go hike again once you experience it. If you still hesitate, just go for a hike then see what happen to your body.