Why you should start hiking
Most people today live in cities, far away from forests and mountains, with a modern lifestyle where everything is done as fast as possible. Discovering hiking as a contrast to this life can be a blessing for the modern, urban person of the 21st century trying to stay healthy and relaxed. In this article, we are going to look at a few benefits of hiking.
The cardiorespiratory fitness, the fitness of your heart, lungs and blood vessels, is what we all know as endurance. By hiking, especially in higher altitudes where oxygen is not as concentrated, this can be improved effectively. As a result, you will feel more energetic in your everyday life and be more resilient.
Obesity has been established as one of the main health problems of today’s time, and especially its correlation with many other diseases, such as heart, kidney and liver problems, diabetes, stroke and more makes it so critical. Depending on the terrain and speed, an average person can burn up to 500 calories an hour while hiking, which compares to sports such as swimming and running, making it a great way to keep a healthy weight.
Today, stroke and coronary heart disease are causes of illness and death. These problems build up over a long time and can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle, as the main risk factors are a bad diet and not enough sports leading to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. This means that hiking is a great way to balance for the unhealthy office lifestyle many of us are living today. Even just hiking for 2.5h per week has been proven to improve your health.
The psychological benefit
Not only does hiking improve your physical health, the hormonal effects of physical exercise also improve your mental health. The rush we experience on a daily basis increases the release of stress hormones, which lead to a higher blood pressure and faster aging processes, ultimately shortening our life span. By hiking, you can relax in the nature, while releasing hormones that are essential for your happiness. Your brain is flooded with dopamine, a hormone essential for your mental wellbeing. As well as this, the nature provides a contrast to the usual urban environment, and gives you a space to be alone with your thoughts and enter a meditation-like state. For these reasons, hiking can prevent depression, anxiety and help you deal with stress.
Altogether, hiking is a great way to improve your quality of life as well as your health. The many health benefits together with the relaxing nature of hiking makes it the perfect balance for a stressful lifestyle.