Benefits of Hiking for health and well-being

Baku, April 3, AZERTAC

Hiking is a great way to get outside, move body, and explore new places. In fact, hiking’s many physical and mental health benefits make it one of the best workouts for both human’s body and mind.

It’s also relatively accessible compared to many sports. Hikers of any age or ability level can find a hike that will provide them with an appropriate challenge.

In the last year and a half, many people around the world have taken up hiking for some much-needed stress relief. Hiking helped many to cope with the uncertainty and instability caused by the global pandemic, climate crises, and international strife.

Like brisk walking, hiking is a good way to improve one`s cardiovascular fitness, particularly if the route includes some hills, which will force one`s heart to work harder. Hiking improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. Studies have shown that going on regular moderate hikes can significantly reduce hypertension, improve glucose tolerance, and decrease ‘bad’ cholesterol levels over time. Taking a hike on the slightly uneven surface of a trail also provides a natural way to engage the core muscles in one`s torso and to hone your balance skills.

Another benefit of hiking may be the restorative and stress-relieving powers of being outside in nature. A number of small studies hint that spending time in green space — nature preserves, woodlands, and even urban parks — may ease people’s stress levels. Giving the growing consensus that stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease risk, anything one can do to mitigate stress is likely helpful. In that realm, the benefits of hiking remain anecdotal, but outdoor enthusiasts tend to agree.

The number of calories burned during a hike depends on a lot of factors like weight, gender, and aerobic intensity, but if you’re just starting out, even light hiking can result in gradual weight loss. The recommendation for physical activity for adults is at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) per week. If your goal is weight loss, try starting out with three 50 minute hikes per week on a local trail.

Another theory is that being outside and getting natural light can affect sleep patterns.

“Hiker health” means you are able to tackle a trail, and are eager to do so!

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