Hiking is a sport that in recent years has become very fashionable. It’s cheap to practice (with comfortable clothes and some proper shoes there is enough). It is not competitive because what prevails in this sport is companionship and being in contact with nature and here everyone sets their limits.
In addition, by gaining more and more followers almost everywhere, there are hiking, mountaineering or exclusive hiking clubs that periodically offer routes for all who want to try the experience.
Naturally, being a physical activity, trekking brings many health benefits, both physical and mental, and then we will try to clarify some.
Health Benefits of Trekking (Physical)
As in any sport, with hiking we get fit, also, not being a sport of high demands (although there may be many technical levels and physical conditions required) on each excursion we can set goals that will make us improve our physical condition and improve our resistance and lung capacity. Of course, the muscles will benefit most from practicing this sport.
Being an aerobic sport in which we activate circulation, it is an ideal exercise to prevent heart disease since this type of activity will strengthen our heart. In addition, hiking in the mountains is ideal for reducing stress.
Aerobic exercises are the best to lose weight since they require a constant effort for a long time and this causes us to burn many calories. It all depends on the difficulty of the route and the pace we have, but with an hour of hiking, they burn on average about 400 Kcal. The greater the slope that we face, logically, the more fat we will burn.
Walking helps to remove muscle tension, so trekking relieves back pain. In addition, it is also a way to increase our bone density and prevent osteoporosis, a disease that is not only prevented with a good diet but also with exercise. It should also be noted that it improves the symptoms of arthritis, the disease without the cure.
Last but not least, by breathing the fresh air we can prevent many respiratory diseases, even some people with pulmonary complaints recommend hiking, provided it is moderate. An air of quality and away from the pollution and polluted air of the cities will make our lungs feel much better.
Health Benefits of Hiking (Psychological)
Next, we are going to analyze some of the benefits that trekking has for our mind and our well-being that are not few.
Walking reinforces some aspects of our mind, for example, memory, planning or the ability to react to unexpected situations. In addition, it allows us to socialize with other people that we meet along the way, this is always good to forget about the problems of our daily life.
Being in contact with nature, away from the noise of the city, the stress, and pressure of work, the housework, etc we will feel an inner peace that will relax us a lot to face again the challenges that we have ahead. Many companies do this type of activity as an escape valve for their employees and to improve teamwork.
By gradually surpassing us (if we practice it on a regular basis) we will gain in confidence and each time we will feel better with ourselves and that is evident both in our daily performance and in our appearance.
All exercise produces an increase in the production of endorphin which is a substance that generates the brain and has to do with mood, pleasure and help to fall asleep, so if we practice hiking we will be favoring the creation of this substance, very beneficial to combat stress and its symptoms such as lack of energy or depression.
Finally, thanks to all these mental benefits, of course, our state of mind will improve substantially, making us more open to others and less irritable. In addition, seeing ourselves better, we will want to practice even more trekking, setting higher goals that, by overcoming them, will make us feel better, be in better shape and every time we mark new challenges (take the jump to the trail, excursions of several days, etc).
For all these reasons hiking is a highly recommended sport for our health both physical and mental, so don’t think twice, put on some comfortable clothes and shoes suitable for the mountain, water, and a snack and walk!