What is hiking? Is it good exercise? What are some of the benefits of hiking?
What Is Hiking?
Hiking is a long and vigorous walk, usually on trails or footpaths in rural areas. It involves walking in natural environments including mountains, forests as well as open grasslands.
Hiking is an activity that can be easy for beginners and moderately challenging for others.
It involves walking across long distances that vary, some trails are only a mile round trip, while others are as long as 100 miles.
Hiking activity varies in duration. It includes quick hour and a half trips around 5 mile loop trails. Also, it includes half-day programs as well as itineraries of over 20 days for much larger trips.
Hiking is an activity that allows groups of different sizes. It can be only 2 people hiking together or a large group that are part of a hiking club.
Hiking is an activity that has many benefits, but it helps to have the right equipment and be aware of hazards.
Here’s a related post: “The Benefits Of Gardening”
What Equipment Do You Need?
By having the right hiking equipment, you’ll be reaping the benefits in full.
- Hiking Backpack: Having a hiking backpack is essential. It’s needed to store food, water, clothes as well as other equipment.
- Plenty Of Food: In order to reap the benefits of hiking, you need to bring plenty of food. Hiking is an activity that burns a lot of calories, so it’s important to sustain yourself.
- Hiking Boots And Shoes: Having good hiking boots and shoes are needed. They not only help you hike farther, they have other benefits which include protecting your feet and ankles.
- Plenty Of Water: Having at least 2 liters or a half gallon of water is how much you need for a basic hike. Depending on how far you’re going or even the weather, you might need to bring more or filter water along the trail.
- Sunscreen: Having sunscreen protects you from sunburn while hiking.
- Navigation Equipment: Reaping the benefits of hiking in full includes having navigation equipment. It can be maps, a compass, an altimeter and a hiking GPS.
What Are Some Hiking Hazards?
Hiking is a fun activity that has its benefits, but it also has its hazards.
The hazards include those dangers that are beyond our control. Dangers include bad weather on the trails, wild animals, ticks as well as rough terrain. Other hazards include those that happen as a result of mistakes that are made.
Many mistakes are made by beginner hikers with little experience or more advanced hikers who get complacent.
Mistakes include not planning ahead for possible natural hazards such as weather changes. Some hikers make the mistake of not bringing either rain gear or warm clothes. As a result, they’re at risk of having hypothermia because of hiking in the rain or the cold.
A big mistake that’s made by many hikers is not having an itinerary. As a result, they may end up on trails that are too hard or they might get lost.
It’s vital that hikers are aware of hazards and that they plan ahead for safety reasons.
What Are The Benefits Of Hiking?
Let’s explore the benefits of hiking!
- Improves Your Heart Health: Hiking is a powerful cardio exercise. It lowers your blood pressure and lowers your risk for heart disease. Also, hiking helps to increase blood flow to your muscles.
- Good For Your Mental Health: Hiking has many mental health benefits. It not only reduces stress and anxiety but also reduces depression. Hiking also boosts brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine.
- Builds A Stronger Body: Among the benefits of hiking include a stronger body. It builds your muscles as well as bone density. Also, hiking helps you improve your balance.
- Fresh Air And Natural Light: Natural benefits of hiking include fresh air and natural light. Breathing in fresh air is good for not only your lungs but also your brain. Natural light boosts your mood as well as your sleep-wake cycle.
- Better Sleep: Hiking is an activity that improves your sleep at night. Being exposed to natural light helps reinforce the natural sleep-wake cycle.
- Helps Control Weight: Hiking is a great way to control your weight. It’s an activity that burns a lot of calories, because it utilizes steeper paths than just walking.
Have You Ever Been Hiking?
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